A Material in Motion: Scandinavian Glassblower Nina Johanna Christensen
Malmö-based glassblower Nina Johanna Christensen is in love with glass as a material and it shows in her designs. They are all handmade and therefore they are all unique pieces of art. We got together with her for a talk about her life-long infatuation with glassblowing and what inspires her work. Find out how caramel and honey kicked of her career and why the illusion of motion is so important to Nina.
You’re a glassblower, why did you choose this craftmanship?
I went a lot to Småland and the kingdom of glass with my family when I was a kid. I got really fascinated by glass as a material and thought it looked as if the workers where making vases out of honey or caramel. The thought of blowing glass myself stuck with me and when I found an article about a craft school, I hardly waited a minute before contacting them when I finished highschool.
Could you elaborate the thoughts and inspiration behind the Grow flower vase?
Whether you are about to blow a big vase or a small vase you always have to start with a tiny little bubble. That bubble has inspired me for this mini vase. In my imagination this small vase is growing a little bit every day, like for example the cutting you are putting in it. ”
What is the story you like to highlight in your creations?
In my work I want to show my fascination for the organic material and the constant movement in the hot liquid glass. These are the qualities that made me start working with glass. They are constantly present in the hot work, but often lost and ignored in the finished glass objects. My focus has been on trying to maintain a sense of movement in the products of the “A Material in Motion” series, almost as if they are still in motion and reshaped when you are holding it, seeing it, using it.
How is your work process?
I do all the sketch works for the designs in my studio and showroom in Malmö, Sweden. When the ideas are worked through, I go and blow the pieces in Varberg, Sweden.
You are based in Malmö. What is your favorite thing about Sweden and Malmø?
Malmö is a very relaxed city compared to the capital Stockholm. It´s placed very convenient too, close to Copenhagen, Germany and so on. I like the feeling of having opportunities. I grew up here and my family still lives here and a lot of my friends too.
To you, what is unique about the Nordic Countries? Why have they received so much positive attention internationally?
I think that Nordic countries have a culture of trying to keep it real and simple. Something that I try to express in my designs as well. We´re more about removing what might cause distraction than to ad it. That’s a convenient contrast to the busy reality most of us know of. I believe that to surround yourselves with creations and pieces of design that symbolize a more simple life could have a calming impact on you.
Besides your own designs, What is your favorite product from ENIITO and why?
I really like the poetry and melancholy of Lise Ulrich photos. In her pictures she manages to capture what you never succeed to capture yourself, when you’re in front of a stunning, beautiful landscape.