Ingeborg Lundin was the first female artist of major significance to work at the Orrefors glassworks. She became internationally renowned in the 1950s for her ariel designs. Her trademark was the glass artwork called Äpplet.
Ingeborg Lundin was born in Växjö in 1921. Her father was an interior painter decorator who specialised in marbling banisters and balustrades. She moved to Chicago, USA, with her family when she was an infant. Ingeborg Lundin’s mother died before she had started school. When her father remarried, Ingeborg Lundin was sent home to Sweden to live with her maternal aunt in Vretstorp in Närke, where she saw out her childhood. Ingeborg Lundin moved to Stockholm as soon as she had completed her schooling. There she attended evening classes at Tekniska skolan (the school of arts, crafts and design). Her intention was to become a drawing instructor. She earned her keep during her studies by typing and designing medals for Sporrong AB. When she finished her studies she worked as a supply drawing instructor at various schools.
In 1947 Orrefors glassworks were seeking a new colleague and Ingeborg Lundin immediately jumped at the opportunity to work with glass. She moved to the small community of Orrefors in Småland and began her career as artistic co-worker at the world-famous glassworks. Her remit was to design both functional and artistic glassware. Glass production had been a male-dominated industry during the first half of the 1900s and young Ingeborg Lundin initially found it hard to be taken seriously by the masters she worked with. She eventually found a glass-blower who was willing to realise her designs.
Ingeborg Lundin’s earliest glassware was exhibited in 1948 at the Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) department store in Stockholm. She displayed some austere-looking pieces in thinly engraved transparent glass, amongst other things. Ingeborg Lundin had already found her style. During her early years she tended to decorate glass artwork with engraved decorations on clear crystal. She experimented liberally with various engraving techniques, from diamond cutting and surface engraving to more traditional engraving.
Her delicate Timglas which were tall, elegant double-glazed items, which could serve both as drinking glasses and as pieces of art, date from 1952. These were undecorated clear crystal pieces where the focus lay purely on their shape. The Timglas is just as typical of Ingeborg Lundin’s designs as the ariel Äpplet which was a great success in Milan in 1957. This large spherical-shaped vase had first been blown in clear crystal and subsequently with a yellow-green undertone.
Ingeborg Lundin had already been awarded the prestigious Lunning prize in 1954 and she was given the gold medal at the XI Triennale in Milan in 1957. This brought her to international attention. Photographs of Äpplet often appeared on posters and exhibition catalogues as a symbol of the golden age of Swedish glass. Ingeborg Lundin was also an innovative designer of functional and table-ware glass. She designed a series of austere jugs, carafs, and utilitarian glass for Sandviks glassworks in Hovmantorp, an offshoot of Orrefors. Her tableware called Bob was designed for the H55 exhibition. The glassware featured hefty pillared stems. She also designed table services in polished crystal.
Once the artist Edvin Öhlström had left Orrefors glassworks in 1957 Ingeborg Lundin was encouraged to design ariel glass, a type of glass art in which Öhrström had specialised. By working with straight shapes and geometric patterns in pale colours, in great contrast to Öhrstöm’s methods, she successfully created her own version of the ariel technique. She gradually introduced colour and eventually even figurative shapes. During the 1960s Ingeborg Lundin returned to working with engravings. Her engraved glass pieces from that time period are often cylindrical in form and
incorporate abstract scrawls. These are surface engravings giving them a milky-white appearance, as rough traces on a clean crystal surface.
Ingeborg Lundin was let go by Orrefors glassworks as part of the structural transformations experienced by the Swedish art industry in the early 1970s. When she left the company at the turn of the year 1970/1971 she had spent the last 24 years working for them. It was only in 1990 that she began to work with glass again when she became a designer for Målerås glassworks. This period of collaboration was short-lived, however. In 1991 Ingeborg Lundin was involved in a car accident and then suffered from a serious illness.
Ingeborg Lundin died in Orrefors in 1992. She is buried at Hälleberga cemetery.