Art glass by Ola Höglund and Marie Simberg-Höglund is totally unique. It explores the fluid brilliance of the crystal clear glass and reflects the movement and beauty of the natural environment. In their Graal Collection, Ola and Marie combine the craftsmanship of their Swedish heritage with a Pacific flair, creating glass artwork that has earned them worldwide praise.
Each Graal piece is a singular work of art, engraved with its individual title and code, numbered and signed by the artists, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Any Graal piece from this fine collection is an investment that will appreciate in value over time – a true collector’s treasure.
The intricacy of the Graal technique often eludes the untrained eye. Each Graal piece, with its elaborate decoration suspended in several layers of crystal clear glass, can take more than 40 hours to complete. Artistic sensitivity, intuition and great skill are required throughout the long, complicated and risky process. Each stage of the heating and annealing (gradual cooling) cycle generates stress within the different layers of crystal glass and must be carefully controlled.
Making a Graal vessel involves Ola first blowing a small, clear bubble of glass, often no bigger than an egg, and overlaying it with hot coloured glass. This is known as a Graal ‘blank’. A few days later, when the blank has been annealed and cooled, Marie either cut, engrave or etch into the blank through the various layers of colours. This creates patterns and images similar to those created in the Cameo technique (where upper layers are cut away to create a relief design).
The blank is reheated, attached to the blowpipe and coated with more layers of crystal clear glass. Up to five layers can be used on each piece. At this moment the air bubbles are trapped, bringing the individual character and beauty of the handblown glass to life. Ola then blow the vessel into its final enlarged size.
Although appearing deceptively light and delicate to the eye, each finished piece is extremely heavy.