Ulrica Hydman Vallien was a colorful icon in Swedish art, combining superb craftsmanship with boundless playfulness. Her characteristic motifs have adorned everything from crystal vases to British jet planes. She left no heart untouched, and her value to us at Kosta Boda is immeasurable.
This is our tribute collection in her memory.
A mysterious snake winds its way around Cleopatra’s vase of mouth-blown crystal. The inspiration comes from Ulrica’s childhood, when the curious four-year-old tumbled into a nest of grass snakes. Her mother reacted the way most mothers would. But Ulrica was enchanted by the mysteriousness of the snake.
The series name is based on the well-known Mexican phrase expressing surprise. The black motifs on milky white glass create strong contrasts. Slithering snakes, leaping fish and blooming flowers frame the handmade objects.
Pokal was chosen by Ulrica’s husband Bertil, who describes the glass like this: “It includes the snake, and its whole expression is defined by a charming, somewhat naïve ‘laissez-faire’ air. Plus, I know she was proud of it.”
Snakes were a frequent element of Ulrica’s work. Made of clay or glass, or painted. She perceived an air of magic around snakes, viewing them with a mixture of fear and pleasure.
This rounded, mouth-blown, richly painted series is a tribute to the cockatiel Petito, a member of the Hydman Vallien family who enjoyed perching on Ulrica’s and others’ shoulders. One day a sudden crack of thunder caused the terrified bird to fly up into a tall birch tree. Petito disappeared and the rest is history.
Glittering crystal etched with Ulrica’s paintings and featuring cut glass edges give Sargasso a wild impression. The series is a work of art inspired by Ulrica’s memories of trips to the Sargasso Sea, where fish and coral reef snakes swim through floating forests of golden seaweed.
The mouth-blown plates in the Final Peace series combine bright colors and hand-painted motifs. In other words, they’re typical Ulrica. The plates are the last products she made for Kosta Boda. They have never been included in the range before, but now they are colorful puzzle pieces in our tribute collection.
In her book ”Guide till Gud”, Ulrica said,“I imagine that there is no God, but I can’t be certain. To be on the safe side, I have my own house god. She sits on the gate post watching over me.“