Take a piece of Lofoten with you home
TEXT: INGRID OPSTAD | PHOTOS © JOANNA BORGIER|GÜNTER REINFELDT|GLASSBLOWER ANDERS TANGRAND
At the heart of Lofoten, between steep mountains and the open sea, you will find Glasshytta in Vikten, a beautiful wood and stone building where generations of glassblowers have been providing tourists with unforgettable memorabilia from their visit to this charming part of Norway.
It all started in 1975, when fisherman Åsvar Tangrand, as the first person in northern Norway, began practising glassblowing. Inspired by a journey to Finland and his surroundings, the pioneer created stunning, colourful objects of glass using materials he could find around him, such as glass bead floats, traditionally used when fishing, and used glass bottles, which he used in an innovative and creative way.
Unique glass objects
Where the Norwegian sea grinds the stone into impressive sculptures, where the midnight sun colours the landscape in warm hues and where the northern lights dance across the sky, Anders Tangrand is proud to keep his father’s tradition alive. “We have a series of glass products that have white quartz stone from the surrounding mountains in it. This means that tourists can literally take a piece of Lofoten with them home as a souvenir,” Tangrand smiles. The quartz stone is found in the ancient bedrock, which is among the world’s oldest mountains, according to geologists. “This stone works very well together with the glass, giving our products a distinctive and Arctic character.”
Glasshytta Vikten is majestic, set in the middle of the breathtaking Norwegian scenery, and has in recent years become a popular attraction for travellers from all over the world. “The building blends in with the surrounding nature beautifully, and has a traditional yet modern look,” he says. Today, Tangrand and his colleagues make everything from vases, bowls and candle holders to decorative sculptures out of glass, which can be purchased in their studio. Here, visitors can also experience the art of glassblowing up close, as well as drop by the cosy café.
Lofotruna – a symbol of Lofoten
Another legacy from Åsvar is the famous Lofotruna he designed by combining elements of the human, the fish and the boat, which has become the symbol for Lofoten. It captures the essence of what Lofoten is in a sophisticated and timeless manner. Today, the symbol is used as the logo of Glasshytta Vikten, and can also be admired in a larger format as a sculpture in the mountain wall just east of the undersea road tunnel Nappstraum.