Hoglund Art Glass Fires up in Jungle Paradise!
We had heard that Hoglund Art Glass studio had been opened by world renowned glass artists, Marie and Ola Hoglund, in the lush jungle of the Whyanbeel Valley, forty minutes north of Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland. So we went in search of them.
Sauntering through plantations of waving sugar cane, the mauve flowers reminiscent of feather dusters… rattling over flimsy bridges spanning clear rainforest creeks, we kept an eye open for red flags - markers for the glass studio.
The narrow road meandered calmly towards the foot of the towering mountains, the rainforest closed in, brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies flitted around us and rainforest orchids tumbled from huge old tree trunks…until…look, there’s a flag! And another.
Glass Studio in the Rainforest
We had arrived at the studio, set into a clearing on the edge of dark rainforest. Out of the gloom, more butterflies cascaded and strange sounds hinted at foraging orange-footed scrub hens or perhaps a stately cassowary.
Marie assembling glass shapes for her fused glass art jewellery
Marie Simberg-Hoglund greeted us and showed us to the studio, where Ola and their sons work their magic with molten glass, plunging rough lumps into a roaring glass furnace, blowing, turning, shaping and cutting until they are happy with the form.
Ola and Marie learned their art in Sweden and worked at Kosta Boda and Orrefors there, followed by three years of teaching glassblowing and glass engraving in Swaziland.
They made their home in Nelson in New Zealand in 1982, rapidly becoming well known for their high quality blown glass, prized by collectors around the world.
In 2002 they built their winter studio in North Queensland. This is not only a change of place but also of pace, as this is where the couple is able to seek the inspiration to develop many new designs.
Ola hard at work
If you are visiting in the Port Douglas, Cairns, Daintree area between 1 June and 31 October, be sure to spend an hour or so at their very special studio/gallery in the rainforest. Locals will give you directions through those sugar plantations and over those narrow bridges! What an adventure awaits you!
As well as serious collectors' signed and numbered art works, the Hoglund Art Glass gallery has smaller pieces, suitable for special gifts - and perfect for popping inside your suitcase for family and friends back home.
They are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays but on most other days you will be able to enjoy watching glass blowing demonstrations by Ola or his sons.
Aware of the plight of the world’s dwindling rainforests, Ola and Marie developed the Hoglund iconic graal collection, which celebrates the central role of rainforests in the balance of nature and their importance to the future of the planet.
Each piece is unique and a true collector’s item, signed by the artist. Made of crystal clear glass, the sculptural forms appear to float in space, reflecting light with such elegance that I was surprised to discover that they are quite heavy.
No doubt about it, Hoglund Art Glass is fired up in more ways than one!
See their beautiful website for more images or contact them direct via this form.
Top of Hoglund Art Glass
Check out selected Hoglund Art Glass Exhibitions
Port Douglas Artists
Tropic of Capricorn Artist's Directory
Collectible Glass Art page
What is graal glass?
Art in Tropical Australia home page