The name Ariel was inspired by the god of the wind in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. It is based on the Graal technique, and was developed by Bergkvist at the beginning of the 20thCentury. It was developed by Gustav Bergkvist, Vicke Lindstrand and Edvin Öhrström while working at Orrefors. They discovered it by accident when they noticed that while encasing colored glass that was engraved there sometimes remained air bubbles trapped in the recesses of the design, which gave the piece a completely new aspect.
The way the Ariel technique works is as follows:
Like with the graal technique which was developed earlier by Orrefors, a colored layer of glass is first encased by a clear layer. Onto this “blank” or “stock” piece of glass the initial design is then applied. In the early days this was done either through engraving or etching using acid.
Later, this has been done almost exclusively by sandblasting the motive into the glass. This is then enclosed by clear glass and it is heated again and blown into its final form and size. The Ariel technique has been widely used by a large amount of artists from mainly Orrefors but later also from other manufacturers. The most famous pieces are made by Lindstrand, Ohrstrom, Hald, and Lundin. The small vase featured above was made by Edvin Öhrström and on the left you can see the details of a Ariel vase with a geometrical pattern by Ingeborg Lundin.