Ludvig Lofgren spends his days breathing fire and listening to Heavy Metal. His mane seems inspired from a character out of Game of Thrones and he is passionate about Tattoo Art. But this glass artist does have a softer side, just like the Queen West hipster daddies of Toronto, his family is never far away. Join us at the store to meet Ludvig, a master artist from MÅLERÅS (Mats Jonassen), Sweden, on June 18th (1-5 pm) and read on to find out more…
It’s Småland after all. “I started art school at the age of 16. After three years, I took a glass blowing course and I was stuck.” Ludvig describes the art of blowing glass as something that felt so comfortable to him that it was impossible to do anything else. He was born in Stockholm but moved to Småland with his parents at an early age, where his mother, a textile artist, and father, a carpenter and industrial designer, encouraged his love of design. For those in the know, Småland, an area located in the South East of the country, has been the mecca of glass making in Sweden for over 200 years.
HEAVY METAL ZEN “Time is important. You need to watch things for a while and they get closer.” Ludvig understands the need to pass on his savoir faire and mentors students who range dramatically in age. “They all connect through the art.” He explains that his parent’s generation used craft as a monetary necessity and for a new generation the word is more abstract. “It is a luxury to make something with your hands (today). Even time is a luxury.”
EXOTIC SWEDEN? “I am always combining history with popular culture. I don’t like the middle route. If it’s going to be cute, let it be super cute. I like to push the limits.” When Ludvig went to work at MÅLERÅS he channeled his inner exoticism to transform the mostly clear etched statues of animals into rainbow versions, like the Peacock Series, or the Monkey business series, inspired by 50’s figurines with human expressions.
THE WORK “I am part of a team,” says Ludvig. “Since I have the skills, I blow the first sample, instead of a sketch. If it is a sculpture (limited edition), I do it myself.” He asks me if I know the Waxwing limited edition, an eagle taking off in etched glass, which is handcrafted individually by him. I ask him how he spends his workdays. “Depending on the project, I am in the hot shop or working in the studio sketching or working on production pieces or welding or in the wood shop…”
SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK “I always work with powerful symbols, I am from a generation of heavy metal and tattoos.” In the background a child’s voice is getting louder. I ask what family life is like at the Lofgren home? “We live in an old schoolhouse, we have no neighbors,” he says. “My wife is also an artist.” The young voice gets more insistent. I ask how old are his kids? “Three and fifteen,” he says, “a rebellion in two ways.”
Watch a video where Ludvig wins the Swedish glass blowing championship this year:
More from of over 200 Years of tradition: