Handcrafted glass in Copenhagen – straight from the furnace

Imagine a shop where the art emerges piping hot from a furnace heated to 1,100 degrees Celsius! Head to Studio Arhoj, a design store nestled in a shopping street in Copenhagen.

  • Annamaria Hartvig-Claussen is doing what she does best. She's a glassblower, getting ready to create art. From molten glass.

  • "With the right temperature, glass can be blown up, shaped, and coloured exactly as you want. But the trick is that the hot mass of glass must be kept constantly in motion – otherwise, it sags," explains Claussen, deftly rotating an iron rod.

  • In front of surprised shop-goers standing mere centimetres away, Annamaria shapes the glass into various shapes.

  • Minutes later, customers can stroll out of the shop with a handcrafted work of art straight from the furnace.

A Different Kind of Shop in Copenhagen

Anders Arhoj owns and runs the studio bearing his surname. The artist is focused on sustainability, design, craftsmanship, and closeness to his products.

"People are surprised that we have our workshop right in the shop. But the great thing about it is that it brings us closer to the customers, and the customers closer to our products," he says enthusiastically.

"This is craftsmanship at its finest. We are constantly testing out new things. If they sell well, we make more. If they don't fly off the shelves, we invent something new. Why shouldn't customers see the unique things we create here in the shop and simply take them straight home?" asks Anders rhetorically.

Anders is focused on exploring the visual relationship between Scandinavian and Japanese design traditions. This means he's dedicated to keeping alive the old traditions of ceramics and glassblowing craftsmanship while constantly trying out new things.

"I focus on form, as opposed to function. This doesn't mean that the product can't be used in your everyday life, it just means that I am interested in creating beautiful, amusing objects. All products are, and should be, utterly unique," he says resolutely and clearly.

  • The Danes Love Craftsmanship and Design

    In the shop, vases, cups, glasses, and various usable objects are made in a variety of different colours and sizes.

  • Some are fun and cute; others are stylish and modern. Here, nothing falls short of the high standard that characterises Danish art and design.

  • Annamaria wipes a drop of sweat from her brow as she takes a new, glowing piece of glass out of the furnace, set to become something exclusive and unique. She thoroughly enjoys her work as a workshop master.

  • "I never thought I would practice my professional skills in a shop in the middle of a shopping street in central Copenhagen. But it's fun to be close to the customers and show our craft to more people."

  • "That's what makes Copenhagen and Denmark special. We love traditions, craftsmanship, art, and culture. And we dare, as Anders does, to tread new, modern paths to reach out with our art."

People working in a studio for handcrafted ceramics.Handcrafted and painted coffee cups in Copenhagen.Handcrafted ceramics in a studio.The making of handcrafted glass in Copenhagen.

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