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European Virtual Training Centre
for glass arts and techniques

Sweden Ariel


Written and translated by Ole Victor

Ariel was developed from the concepts of Graal by artists Edvin Öhrström and Vicke Lindstrand in close cooperation with master blower Gustav Bergkvist at Orrefors in 1936.

The name of the technique was inspired from the spirit in Shakespear’s play “The Tempest”.
Though air bubbles were used as decoration since ancient times, including gemetrically placed air bubbles, Ariel now made it possible to control the shape of the trapped air as well as placing it in a decorative composition.

Ariel as a decorating technique is closely related to Graal, from which it originates technically as well as culturally. Both techniques are performed in the three steps – blank, decoration and shaping. Both techniques also involve wrapping an overlay. For Graal the wrapping takes place when producing the blank but for Ariel the wrapping comes after the cold decoration step.

Many of the early Ariel pieces are exhibited at the gallery of Orrefors Glassworks.