This autumn we celebrate the successful 40 year career of Erika Lagerbielke at Orrefors. Four decennia filled with impressive special projects and awards for her stemware collections, such as Difference and Intermezzo. Erika’s fascination with glass started in her childhood and developed into a lifelong relationship with the material and exploration of poetic functionalism.
Erika Lagerbielke was born and raised in Stockholm, in a family with artistic heritage. Her mother was a textile designer, and Dean of Stockholm’s Konstfack College of Design, her father a graphic designer. Erika tried glassblowing during her studies at Konstfack but decided to leave the craft to the craftsmen and focus on design. Her sensitive, elegant style and natural feeling for glass and color made Orrefors recruit her as a designer while still in school, in 1982. She enjoyed a quick breakthrough with Intermezzo in 1984, her groundbreaking longtime bestseller stemware series.
”The eighties are the eighties and it was very colorful”, says Erika Lagerbielke. “I was recruited for my sense of color, just twenty-two years old. It was an exciting time — to be part of a movement when design conquered a new position. Orrefors was part of this wave, with strong Gallery collections and glamorous openings in the NK department store in Stockholm, for which customers queued up. It was a fantastic start.”
"I design for all the senses," says Erika. The glass should emphasize the drink, have good balance and also be a delight to the eye. "
Later in her long, successful career as an artist and designer, Erika Lagerbielke became famous for her work with the meeting of wine and glass, which she has explored in-depth. Merlot, her stylishly stripped-down series, was a huge success in the mid-nineties that has been followed by several others. “I’ve always been fascinated of the sensual experience of holding the glass in your hand, the feeling, balance, and the liquid that meets the mouth and taste buds.”
Lagerbielke’s most acclaimed special projects include the wedding gift to Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel Westling from the Swedish Parliament and government in 2010, Linnaeus University’s vice-chancellor chain in 2010, Hook of Sigrid for the Diocese of Växjö in 2011, and a special set for the Michelin restaurant Operakällaren in Stockholm in 2020. Lagerbielke has received the Excellent Swedish Design award three times, for Orrefors Intermezzo in 1985, Orrefors Merlot in 1995 and Orrefors Difference in 2002 (special prize). In addition, she has won the Prince Eugen Medal from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf for outstanding artistic achievement (2010), as well as the City of Stockholm St. Erik’s Medal (2014).
We celebrate 40 years of Erika Lagerbielke with a special edition of Intermezzo Champagne in Gold as well as the exhibition Ljus - skugga (Light - Shadow) in the Bruno Mathsson Hall in Kosta Art Gallery. The presentation features a curated selection of classic objects from the past four decades, as well as a contemporary section, En blå planet (A blue planet), which evolves from an exhibition of new art glass that Lagerbielke made with Kosta Boda and which was shown in Stockholm in 2022.
Ljus — Skugga
Erika Lagerbielke 40 years with Orrefors and Kosta Boda
Kosta Art Gallery Bruno Mathsson-hall
22nd of October 2022 – 19th of March 2023