About Kosta Boda

Kosta Boda is one of the world’s leading brands of glassware and art glass. Technology and an understanding of glass have been refined here in the heart of the forests in the Swedish province of Småland ever since 1742. Our glassware is vibrant, bold, innovative and provocative. It stands out and takes centre stage. Kosta Boda is true passion.

Our designers are some of the most renowned – not just in Sweden, but worldwide. Their common denominator is a passion for exploring the possibilities of glass, always stretching the limits of what is feasible. The techniques used are both classical and brand new, often developed by the craftspeople in the glassworks as they work on transforming the designers’ ideas into products.

The close dialogue between the designers and skilled craftspeople takes place on a daily basis and will continue to form the foundation for creating unique glassware to delight people today and future generations.

 

Kosta Glassworks

Kosta glassworks is Sweden’s oldest still operating glassworks. The furnaces here have been lit since 1742. We welcome you into the warmth to witness a genuine Swedish handicraft. This is your chance to follow the production of Kosta Boda’s products in the glow from the furnaces. From the melting of the molten glass to glassblowing, cutting and painting.

Some of Kosta Boda’s most colourful designers have their studios at Kosta glassworks. Anna Ehrner, Göran Wärff and Kjell Engman work closely together with the craftsmen in the hot shops here.

In the area you also find the Kosta Boda Art Gallery where you have the opportunity to see current exhibitions. Kosta Boda’s factory outlet is also located here and nearby also Kosta Outlet and the famous Kosta Boda Art Hotel.

 

Kosta 275th Anniversary. Centuries of Swedish craftsmanship.

The Kosta glassworks – named for its founders, Generals Koskull and Staël von Holstein, Ko + Sta – opened its doors on 26 July 1742. Technology and expertise in glass have been refined here in the Swedish forest province of Småland ever since that day. 

Courage and determination have been hallmarks of the company and its staff since the start. Other qualities that have carried Kosta into the 21st century are cooperation, perseverance, dexterity, craftsmanship, inventiveness and artistic flair.

Kosta Boda’s products will continue to be crafted out of the glassworks of Småland, designed for any and all occasions, defined by Swedish mettle and always keeping a finger on the pulse of the times.

 

History

The glassworks in Kosta was founded in 1742. The name was created from the surnames of the founders, Generals Koskull and Staël von Holstein. Kosta’s location, in the heart of the dense forests in the Swedish province of Småland, was chosen so that the glassworks could provide both Stockholm and Karlskrona with glass. Important roads crossed here, and there was also an unlimited supply of wood to heat the furnaces.

Fine utility glassware was made here during the first 150 years of the company’s existence and comprised products such as window panes, bottles and drinkware, but also glass chandeliers and similar items. The customers included royalty, nobility and wealthy merchants who could afford the costly glassware. For a long time, the glassblowers came from Bohemia, which is now part of the Czech Republic. Many decades passed before Swedes learnt how to blow glass.

Kosta exhibited its products at the General Art and Industrial Exposition of Stockholm in 1897, but was criticised because its glassware mostly resembled items made in other parts of Europe. This gave the company the idea of employing its own designers. The idea rapidly gained ground and remains the actual foundation of the way in which the glassworks continually develops its product range.

The first designer at the glassworks was Gunnar G:son Wennerberg, who joined the company in 1898. Many well-known artists have worked here since then, such as Sven X-et Ericsson and Ewald Dahlskog. The first female artist was Tyra Lundgren who was recruited in 1935. Many women have worked at the glassworks since then and have been very successful.

Today’s Kosta Boda was formed through a merger of the glassworks in the communities of Kosta, Boda and Åfors. The group was initially called AB Åforsgruppen and included Johansfors Glassworks at that time. The company name was changed to Kosta Boda AB in 1976, and the company has been part of Orrefors Kosta Boda AB since 1989.

A smaller part of our production has been produced at other renowned glassworks, mainly in Europe, since 2004. A few products are produced in Asia. At all glassworks, we use the same designers and in many cases the production techniques developed by ourselves in Småland, Sweden.