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.
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 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.
In 2002 they built their winter studio in North Queensland. This was not
only a change of place but also of pace, as this was where the couple was able to seek the inspiration to develop many new designs.
If you were visiting in the Port Douglas, Cairns, Daintree area I hope that you managed to spend an hour or so at their very special studio/gallery in the rainforest watching enjoy watching glass blowing demonstrations by Ola or his sons.
Locals would have given you directions through those sugar plantations and over those narrow bridges! What an adventure you would have enjoyed!
As well as serious collectors' signed and numbered art works, the Hoglund Art Glass gallery had smaller pieces, suitable for special gifts - and perfect for popping inside your suitcase for family and friends back home.
Sadly for their many North Queensland colleagues and friends, the Hoglunds have now left the tropics and are concentrating on their gallery in Otago, New Zealand.
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!
Höglund Art Glass was a 'must do' on our list
So wrote Danielle and Paul Marriott, in appreciation of their visit to Höglund Art Glass. It's always nice when clients take the time to thank artists for their extra attention and help.
See their beautiful website for more images or contact them direct via this form.