At the heart of Boda is, of course, the glass factory, without it, Boda would still, quite possibly, be a small farming settlement with a mill. The factory was opened in 1864 and located in Boda because of the proximity to wood, the fuel for the furnaces, and water power. A mill for grinding glass into powder still stands and was restored in the 1980s.
For many decades the core of the industrial production of the glass industry was the press mould. Working with the glassmaker Peter Kuchinke, we have located moulds that were saved from former factories in the region. Some of these date from the 19th century. They were kept by the former glass factory owner Lars Ingersson and his cousin Kjell Enerold, who have kindly lent us some for the exhibition and some experimentation!
We are in the process of cleaning all the moulds and have made some forms using one of them. We are unable to reproduce the original vessel from the mould as we do not have a press, but rather we are trying by hand to making sculptural pieces that bare traces of the original form.
Our problems with this are twofold; firstly temperature, we need to get the mould up to roughly 400 degrees Celcius. We didn’t want to heat the mould by placing in a kiln, for fear of damaging the wooden handles, so we repeatedly pressed with molten glass, using the glass to heat the mould and progressively. We managed to get to 300 degrees, not enough to make a facsimile of the original form, but enough for our purposes. Our other difficulty was pressure. Originally this would have been done with a mechanical press. By hand, we were unable to get enough pressure, but for our purposes, we managed to get the forms we wanted, pieces that combined the design of the piece with more abstract sculptural forms.
One piece, along with some of the moulds, will be in the exhibition. An acknowledgement of the glass making traditions that made Boda what it is today.