Today we went to Kosta to visit the Glass Hotel, the factory, the school and if we would be lucky one of the designers. First we got a guided tour of the Glass Hotel which is truly one of a kind! When I came last summer to visit the schools and the area with Mamma and Eva we stayed at the hotel but the guided tour was really cool. The hotel is the showroom of the seven (I think seven) designers who work for Kosta Boda. They designed different parts of the hotel and each got a hallway of rooms to design. No two rooms in the whole hotel are the same. Here are some of the coolest things I thought (the website has some great pics too):
Skulls made of glass.
Ladder to Heaven it was called... I like it and wish I hadn't heard the name b/c now I keep thinking Stairway to Heaven... which it totally isn't.
This was in the glass bar it is called Thomas's week... its starts on the Thursday... Sunday looks pretty good and poor Thomas appears to be aching on Wednesday... pretty funny I thought.
This is the pool/spa (which I missed while staying last year but it would have been SO cool to swim in) those are exhibit boxes in the pool. So they call it an underwater exhibit. very cool.
That is looking right down into the water at one of the boxes.
This is water fall going into the pool with stepping stones and some fish swimming upstream. It was so relaxing the pool the only noise was the waterfall.
After the tour we got to wander around some and look at the hallways designed by the different artist. I thought everyone was wandering around and apparently I was the only one or the only one to take so long... but I went down every hall and asked the maids if I could go in a few of the rooms to see how they were styled! It was amazing how different they all were! All the other students were very jealous b/c they didn't get to see any of the rooms!
After that we went to the glass museum at Kosta and saw some really amazing things:
Look at the stems on those glasses!! They are hollow and those swirls are all separate pieces of glass I think.
These are pieces done by one of my favorite designer, Göran Warf. You can just see a picture of him on the top shelf.
It is amazing how he can make the colors change so smoothly and make such thick pieces look so beautiful.
Though it is a little hard to see this was done by one of the best glass cutters in Sweden's history. It is kind of like the greek vases that tell a story as it goes around. It was so amazing, now even more so b/c I know how hard it is to do anything like that!
These were outside. Those are cutting stones separated by pieces of glass and in some cases goblets. They were about 8-10 feet tall I would say. Then we went to lunch:
This is a famous gyro pizza... it is meat, garlic sauce and pepper on a pizza. Everyone gets it, including my roommate Sarah.
This is what I got. It is called a Tropical or something. It has ham, sausage, shrimps, onions and curry! It was supposed to have bananas on it too but they got forgotten. I split it with my teacher Maryanne and it was really DELICIOUS!! I am even excited to try it again with the bananas I think.
After lunch we got a special treat and got to meet one of the designers for Kosta! Apparently Maryanne worked for him for a while and so he let us into his studio which is usually not open for visitors. This guy:
His name is Kjell (kind of pronounced Shell) Engman. He was great to meet and very happy to talk with us. He showed us all the things he is working on and he was the one who designed the glass bar and pool at the hotel! He can blow some glass but says he isn't very good so he helps the master blowers and designs some pretty cool pieces. Here is an exhibit of his that was in the factory:
This is a crazy guitar and what is even more cool is when you look closely you can see this:
Tiny faces in the checkered pattern!!!
That is a dress hanging from the ceiling.
These were about one foot tall and each one was totally different. On top of each one were these:
Some very happy, dancing, fat, naked ladies... Maybe b/c this was above them:
Gives a whole new meaning of air instruments! haha I am a dork! The one in the middle of the shot has a face you can see through the keys. These really made me think of my mountain piano man <3 Anyway, I am not totally sure what the whole thing says next to Kjell Engman's picture from the beginning but it talks about life in transition and wanting to make things that speak to all your senses. But it ends with this great line
"The glass, the living mass is my companion."
Then we watched some of the workers in the factory. It was really amazing how efficient they were and how many products they could turn out. They would have like 7 men working on glasses with this cool line on them and just go and go and go and make a million in an hour. They would have like 3 guys blowing, one making the line, one putting the stems on and one moving them to the annealer. But, the really cool part and pretty lucky to actually be able to see was this:
One of the major Kosta desingers working with one of the new(er) Kosta masters. This guy's dad was a master before him and is really amazing! They lady does some interesting things and I think I read swims each day in the lake outside of Kosta even if she has to dig through a ton of ice! But they made this enormous piece with some gold and silvery looking bits in it:
This one took about 10 men working on it and the designer. One of the blowers even looked like Christian Bale! There were guys to blow the first bubble, gather white bits, warm it, gather more glass, roll it in more bits, turn it in the glory holes, shapers and blowers and people to help them turn the pipe since the piece was so huge they had a hard time turning it with one hand and finally the master did the last finishing touches. It was an amazing process to watch and I can't wait until I can make things like that! OK, maybe not that big but that cool and almost that big!
The day was ended with doing laundry at a snail's pace. For some reason it takes like 2 hours to dry ONE TINY load of clothes here! Sheesh! But we also went to the lake again for sunset. It is amazing how sunsets here last sooooo long! It is really great I think. Here is a cool picture, not as cool as yesterday's but still cool.
Also, I got to talk to Sam. Sadly he is sickly but he took his first leap into the world of blogs. He wrote this for his band, Bad Circus, blog. I thought it was very nice and you guys should see what my boyfriend is doing in his mountain home... so very far away.
I also learned a cool fact about glass. Do you know how they make pink and red glass?!?!?! They use GOLD! I don't know about you but I can kind of picture in my head what color they would use certain chemicals to make but that one was a complete shocker! Here is an interesting website about it... who knows how factual it is...
PS: I added some pics to yesterday's post that I forgot last time/couldn't find b/c I am an idiot.