Meet the Showroom: Hadeland Glassverk
Norway’s oldest glass factory was founded in 1762, and is known for its lighting, as well as tableware and art glass. It has just opened its first UK showroom at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, showcasing its own work as well as a handful of other Norwegian brands. Hadeland has a portfolio of modern glass lighting designs, including work that digs into its distinguished early-20th-century archive, and also creates bespoke pieces in collaboration with architects and interior designers. Here, its UK and Ireland manager Angela Murray (above) introduces the brand.
What brought Hadeland Glassverk to Design, Centre, Chelsea Harbour?
The brand has been expanding exponentially and interest from the international design community has spurred us to reach beyond Norway with a physical showroom. We have had some wonderful project investigations and conversations with architects and designers over the years within the UK so it seemed only natural to establish a permanent presence here – and the Design Centre was the perfect new home.
What should we expect from the showroom?
It feels like a capsule visit to beautiful Norway! The space is elegant, calm and quite sensory. Visitors will see a full range of our lighting alongside unique pieces of art glass, all of which perfectly show the scope and capability of our craftsmen and women who so expertly form each unique object. As an artisan product our glass has an exceptional story behind every piece, and we have screens from which we can present that narrative to anyone who would like to learn more about our history and methods of production.
To complete the story, we have partnered with two other Norwegian brands: Eikund, a sustainable furniture manufacturer and Lundhs, the largest producer of natural stone in northern Europe. Our large working island in the showroom is made from Lundhs’ stone and the beauty of this raw material is exquisite.
Why should customers visit in person as opposed to looking/buying online?
To have the opportunity to see the quality of mouth-blown, artisan glass and learn about the complex, handmade process used to produce each individual piece, makes a visit to the showroom such a unique experience. We have such diverse, bespoke capability that an in-person visit is the most informative and rewarding way to be introduced to our collections.
What’s your brand’s design philosophy?
An authenticity and honouring of the craft of the handmade, alongside a Norwegian design aesthetic which is progressive but respectful of its history.
Is there a ‘hero’ product that you feel sums up your brand, or that’s been a long-standing bestseller?
The ‘Finn’ pattern is one of our oldest and appears on everything from stemware to our crystal globes. It says so much about the detail and handcrafted nature of our designs, but also speaks to a time when crystal was decadent, and pattern was embraced. It epitomises the sheer skill of our craft and truly is cut glass – created by hand grinding each object to complete an engraved pattern on the crystal.
What can we expect from the latest collections?
We are working on many bespoke projects for interior design clients and these are always utterly unique, taking us off in other directions and investigating new ways to represent Hadeland Glassverk. You will see new shapes, influenced by nature and objects from nature. One of the highlights of our new showroom is the ‘Crystal Cone’ light [pictured above right] we have on display, formed from multiple crystal fir cones, suspended from a steel frame – it is really very special indeed.
Are there broad trends in lighting design that Hadeland is embracing?
Our work is unique, artisan and design-led, and we very much lead rather than follow. Although our designers take inspiration from a wide range of subject matters, the design intent, handwriting and passion is very much driven by designer Maud Gjeruldsen Bugge, who is responsible for many of the exquisite designs within our collection, including one-off art glass pieces such as vases, platters and bowls.
What craftsmanship and innovation goes into Hadeland Glassverk’s products?
All our glassblowing takes place at the Hadeland Glassverks, founded in 1762 and situated in idyllic surroundings on the south bank of Lake Randsfjord in Jevnaker, an hour from Oslo. We have maintained production and the furnace is always on. All our objects, tableware, stemware and lighting are handmade, mouth-blown within our glassworks and the craftsmen and women who lovingly make each piece have multiple years of experience: in many cases generations of skill have been passed down through the factory. Complex techniques to grind our crystal by hand, colour our glass and form the molten material, can be viewed first-hand in the factory. We hold tours and welcome the design community to visit and experience the process and atmosphere of this historic environment.