Glasverksted in Viking Land Paradise

Lovely landscapes dotted with tiny churches abound in the fjords of Norway.

Lovely landscapes dotted with tiny churches abound in the fjords of Norway.

Hello again! It has been a whirlwind of a summer and fall on the Celebrity Eclipse sailing to never-before-seen ports of call in the Baltic Sea and discovering new Scandinavian and Norwegian glass and design studios. I had no idea the Norwegian Fjords would be so majestically mountainous and covered with waterfalls.

A beautiful quilt made for me by Marit Mowinckel in Flam, Norway.

A beautiful quilt made for me by Marit Mowinckel in Flam, Norway.

During my Christmas contract last year, I met a lovely family with Norwegian grandparents and children who had moved to the U.S.  They attended every glassmaking show and Jan and Marit Mowinckel made me promise to get in touch with them when the Eclipse was due to visit Flam, Norway later in the year. I was happy to have a reunion with such delightful folk and was blown away (pun intended) when I was gifted with a lovely handmade quilt, a pint of super sweet strawberries, and a bar of fantastic chocolate.

Glass vessels made by Ingrid

Glass vessels made by Ingrid

At several ports I had seen examples of hand-blown glass at various shops and culture centers and was wondering where these pieces were being made. Several interesting pieces I saw were created by Ingrid Cecilie Ulla and Caroline Kvalen.

When we got to Alesund, Norway we tracked down Ingrid’s marina-front studio and went in for what turned into a multiple-hour visit. Of course as soon as I entered her shop, the first thing I saw was a sleeping cat on an easy chair with Ingrid blowing glass in the background. My two favorites, kitties and glassblowing!

Ingrid's studio in Alesund. Kitties and glassblowing!

Ingrid’s studio in Alesund. Kitties and glassblowing!

The glass our fantastic all-lady team of CMOG glassblowers created was heavily influenced by the stunning scenery and culture that we visited. Several fun collaborative pieces were made that involved trolls and Vikings on ships sailing or falling down waterfall vases. Too much fun! I was very impressed by our dedicated audiences who braved the chilly evenings to watch our live glassmaking shows.

Collaborative piece made by Diane Stendahl, Helen Tegeler and myself.

Collaborative piece made by Diane Stendahl, Helen Tegeler and myself.

Until next time,

Ryan