– A series by Mattias Stenberg

Mattias Stenberg is one of those all-round artists who dabbles in every area of design. He designs buildings with the same unfailing sensitivity with which he creates glass. For the anniversary exhibition he has chosen to join forces with the legendary Vicke Lindstrand, the eternal renewer of art glass and experimentation.

In the 1920s, the Italians developed a glass technique called sommerso –often described as colour submerged in water. Vicke Lindstrand created such glass in the 1950s and Mattias Stenberg tends that same garden. Kosta Boda has previously featured his Septum vases, and for the glassworks’ 275th anniversary he’s developed a technique of intermingled clear glass and coloured glass.

Once upon a time, in the designer’s formative years, his parents took him on a journey of discovery to the Kingdom of Crystal in Småland. The impressions that trip made on the seven-year-old’s mind have never faded. He can still wax lyrical about the mountains of crushed glass he saw glittering in giant bins.

Twin forms in glass with an organic touch. A tête-à-tête of volumes. Perhaps an act of love?

At one point, Stenberg worked in the medical field, conducting research on artificial hearts. He seems to have brought his sense of scientific precision into his work with glass.

The thin glass walls give an impression of an almost pulsating form. The colours are barely more discernible than a breath or a wisp of smoke. Stenberg’s light touch captures those moments when the glass coagulates and comes into being. Now the glass bodies breathe, almost imperceptibly, as in a peaceful sleep.

As usual, we’re tempted to say, the designer has used a minimum of components to create his work. There is nothing to splash out and draw our attention away.

“The trick is to keep the surface intact.” Of course it is. If there’s anything crucial about the material itself, it’s surface tension. Vases? Of course you can place a flower in them, but don’t they work just as well on their own? We think so at Kosta Boda.

Mattias Stenberg

“As a designer, I work with slightly more reduced forms and expression that we’re used to seeing at Kosta Boda. For me, it’s important to go back to my own initial impressions of Kosta Boda as an innovative, experimental company where they accept and even encourage experimentation and product development in the hotshop at Kosta Glassworks in Sweden.”
 – Mattias Stenberg

Mattias Stenberg is originally trained as an engineer, architect and researcher in Sweden and in the US and holds a Licentiate degree in Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Mattias holds several design, interior design and architecture awards.

See more glass by Mattias Stenberg