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.

red flags outside Hoglund Art Glass studioGlass 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 sits in the r ainforest composing her glass jewelleryMarie 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.

'Painted' glass vase shape

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 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.

Ola works at his furnace in the rainforestOla hard at work

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. 

Beautiful green palm leaves in graal glass vase shape

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!

Details from past Hoglund Art Glass graal masterpieces

Greens - graal glass detail
Graal glass detail - fiery reds and yellows
More greens and blues in graal glass details
pale aqua and dark blue swirls in glass detail
blue, amber, leaf green and light purple goblets on tall, slender stems
glass paperweight - clear with burnished greens
glass vase form -graal, swirls of green
clear glass goblets with detail in stem, coloured pieces in lower part of glass
lime coloured glass vase form with black details
clear glass form with swirls of reds and oranges
jaguar vase - vase form with blue rim and green and yellow leaves
Little bluebirds
opaque black vase form with orange and red swirled decoration
pale turquoise glass bowl with black decoration
reeds or seagrass grow inside blue graal glass form

Höglund Art Glass was a 'must do' on our list

...The relaxed, friendly yet professional service we received from Ola was fantastic and to be able to purchase directly from the artist was more personal. We intended on purchasing one special item as a keepsake from our honeymoon and walked away with 3 beautiful items, a bowl, vase and perfume bottle! Family and friends always comment on how beautiful the items are and they look so nice in our home, for us they are the perfect reminder of our honeymoon...

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.

Contact Marie or Ola at Hoglund Art Glass direct.

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Orange, purple and green glass 'Eclipse' vases

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