This piece ran in my People Watching column for the NYTimes T Style online in December of 2012.
Exquisite simplicity: If I had to describe Swedish glass artist Carina Seth Andersson‘s work in a quick sound bite, that would be it. When I first met her, I was already enamored with her series of hand-blown perfume flacons, each made especially for its own vintage glass stopper: a perfect marriage of old and new, and also an object I could actually use. Andersson’s work always feels refreshingly thoughtful; she makes objects to savor for a lifetime.
Originally a textile design major in college, Andersson quickly realized that two dimensions were “not enough” for her. Her desire to “work with forms” and a curiosity about glass led her to Orrefors Glass School in southern Sweden. “And then I was hooked!” she says with a laugh. Since earning her M.F.A. from the Stockholm design school Konstfack in the early 1990s, she has moved fluidly from project to project, designing for clients (like Iittala, the legendary Stockholm design shop Svenskt Tenn and most recently the Swedish fashion brand Hope), producing her own work in small runs, and hand-blowing pieces for galleries. Her work is rooted in a fascination with “really good everyday use things,” she explains. “But you take a little bit longer with them.”
This ethos extends to her personal world. During my visit to Andersson’s studio in Varmdo, we took an impromptu jaunt to her summer house in Skagga, about 20 minutes away. The seamlessness between the two spaces is striking. In each, objects are neatly arranged on shelves, and the essentials serve as decoration.. Andersson and her husband, the architect Fabian Pyk, designed the house 12 years ago but it feels timeless.
When I asked Andersson what she had on the horizon, she mentioned a public-works project for a hospital in Lindkoping; making small clay pots, especially for bonsai trees; and a side project curating shows that showcase Swedish crafts abroad. When I inquired about her perfume flacon project, imagining that she had exhausted her collection of vintage stoppers, she corrected me: “I have a lot of them, so it is not the end.” And it’s clear that she’s not in a rush. For Andersson, simplicity takes time.
If you’d like to see the original post with image captions, you can see that here.