Two men crouching down. A glassworks furnace burns behind them.

Born and raised in the Kingdom of Crystal

Unlike many of the artists and toy designers for this year’s upcoming IKEA Art Event featuring glass figurines, Ludvig Löfgren is more than familiar working with glass. He is born and raised in the Kingdom of Crystal, the southern region of Sweden that is known for its crystal creations.

Ludvig was determined to become an artist from day one. After completing art school, Ludvig pursued glass at The National School of Glass in Orrefors, Sweden. The first couple of years he spent understanding the material and its challenges. “I was annoyed with the material at first. It gives you so much resistance. So I went all in. It was all about mastering it.”

Soon enough, Ludvig began working at Kosta Boda, and received a glass master title at age 25. Today his work is widely recognized for shattering limits in the Kingdom of Crystal.

A portrait of a man standing in a glassworks facility.
Ludvig Löfgren on site at Målerås glassworks

What are some of your first impressions of this project and IKEA?
Fun and inspiring. I mean, IKEA is a completely different company from what I’m used to working with. And it’s interesting that the production for a global rollout happens at Målerås, where I work. The artists and toy designers that we’re working with are people I’d normally look to for outside inspiration. So it’s such an opportunity to collaborate today.

Why was this an interesting project for you?
Well, because we’re solving problems in an old industry and showing new ways of working with glass. It’s a launch happening on a global scale with a global brand, and everyone is able to have some sort of relationship to the art.

Tell us a little bit about your piece for this project!
Initially, I produced two ideas but decided to go with the eye. Often times I like working with strong symbols, and the eye is one of them. This particular piece is cast and I’ve a turquoise blue for the colour because it signifies protection against the “evil eye”. I like working with symbols because it allows me to start digging in history. They have layers and precise messages that many can relate to.

Is that where you get a lot of your inspiration from – history?
Yes, amongst other things, like popular culture. I listen to a lot of music and watch movies. I actually don’t really look at other glass creations for inspiration at all.

Have you experienced obstacles during the production?
Well, since I’m the one artist for this project who also works at Målerås where the production is taking place I’ve been a little bit of a project leader as well. And that’s been both a challenge and an eye-opener for me. Things that I’d normally just have to solve for my own projects I’ve had to problem solve on a larger scale. But in that process, I’ve also come to realise that I have a lot of knowledge and experience, which is a nice feeling. You learn and it just gets easier and better each time. And of course, it’s been exciting hearing the IKEA perspective on things.