Gifts Today magazine

Orrefors and Tak join forces

Partnering with Tak, a restaurant at Stockholm’s new lifestyle hotel, glass manufacturer Orrefors has developed a unique series of sake glasses

A unique collaboration between Frida Ronge, the culinary leader of Tak, the restaurant at Stockholm’s new lifestyle hotel At Six on Brunkebergstorg, and Orrefors’ designer, Erika Lagerbielke, has led to the development and production of a unique series of sake glasses.

Hand-blown in Smaland, Sweden, where Orrefors is based, the sake glasses deliver both Nordic and Japanese style, perfect for Tak, which is a Nordic-Japanese restaurant, using the finest Nordic ingredients but prepared using Japanese techniques.

With her trademark focus on Swedish–Japanese cuisine, Frida Ronge has won awards like the prestigious Rising Star of the Year in the 2013 White Guide and Karin Fransson’s Mentor Prize in the 2014 Chef of the Year contest.

The undisputed queen of Orrefors glass series, Erika Lagerbielke has designed more glass series for Orrefors than anyone, with her most popular series including Intermezzo, Merlot and Difference, all winners of design awards.

As there were no sake glasses and pitchers on the Swedish market, and as Sake – Japanese rice wine – is becoming an increasingly popular drink in Sweden, Frida felt such a project would work.

The creative process “was an open, creative one where we free-associated around sake and Japanese drinking traditions,” says Erika. “We talked about the Tak restaurant and what it stands for, and what Frida stands for. We talked about the opportunities and resistance of glass, the Orrefors brand, my design idiom and her knowledge of the relationship between glass and drink.”

Drawing inspiration too from some genuine Japanese glasses and pitchers, the glasses were designed to really create that Japanese feel, to be small and delivering the perfect touch of the thin, hand-blown glass against the lips.

To achieve the joint vision, Erika and Frida spent a few days at the Kosta Glassworks in Småland, with Kosta’s skilled glass artisans who helped the duo experiment with ideas until they had a result they loved.

“We worked with pure, clean lines, seeking a poetic dimension that harks back to sake’s homeland, Japan. We found we could add little flecks of white and pale blue – like snow on Mount Fuji – by adding chips of coloured glass to the melt. Those colours also tie in with Tak’s hand-made ceramic, giving a lovely symmetry to the restaurant,” says Frida.

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