In autumn 2020, Josef Frank's classic Hortus Pot was launched in a warm, golden amber colour. It was designed in glass for the first time in 1942, and the first colours that Estrid Ericson had made were ruby red, emerald green and deep blue.
Since then, these colours have been preserved in the range together with a variant in clear glass. The deep red colour is traditionally sold during Christmas.
The Hortus pot in glass is manufactured at Reijmyre glassworks in Östergötland, Sweden. Seven craftsmen are involved in the process from start to finish: a glass melter, four glassblowers and two craftsmen who are responsible for the finishing.
The work begins with letting the glass mass melt in the furnace over night. When the glassblowers have finished working for the day, the glass melter begins his shift. He raises the furnace temperature to 140°C and shovels in about 500 kilos of glass, which is then melted under close supervision. Early in the morning, the temperature is lowered so that the glass mass is down to a working temperature of 1,100°C when the glassblowers start their working day at 6.00am.
The manufacturing process now begins in the blowing room. One glassblower catches the glass mass, while another cuts off just the right amount of glass in the iron mould before the glass can be pressed out again.
This phase is the most difficult one in the process and the one requiring the greatest experience and expertise. An exact amount of glass must be caught and cut off without any glass blisters or other defects occurring, something that can only be done by hand and with the right feeling for the craft.
When the glass has cooled to about 650°C, the Hortus pot can be lifted from the mould to a table where two new glassblowers polish it with a gas flame, making it neat and shiny. The pot is then brought to a cooling oven where the temperature is slowly lowered from 500°C to room temperature, which takes about six hours.
When the pot is cold, it’s time for finishing and quality control. The few pots that have glass defects are sorted out and melted down again. The remaining ones are engraved with Svenskt Tenn's logo at the base, then washed and checked once again before being packed and delivered to Svenskt Tenn.
Svenskt Tenn cares about the environment and sustainability, and the classic glass items in its range are no exception. Reijmyre Glassorks in Östergötland uses glass from completely lead-free crystal. The furnaces used in the production process are electric, environmentally friendly and energy efficient and do not emit nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide. The glassworks only uses electricity from water and wind power, and all glass that is discarded is melted and used again. Waste such as corrugated board and other combustibles are sorted and sent for recycling.
Purchasing Swedish glass cuts down on transport distances, helping to avoid a heavy climate impact, and by producing timeless products of high quality and a long service life, we are taking efforts not waste the earth’s resources. Classic glass objects are rarely thrown away. Instead, they are preserved throughout the years and can be resold or passed down as gifts to the next generation.