Ulrica Hydman-Vallien Kosta Boda Swedish Designer handpainted handblown glass glassartist

Ulrica Hydman-Vallien

The Swedish Glass Queen

Ulrika Hydman-Vallien (1938-2018), originally Ulrica Margareta Hydman, was born in Stockholm the capital city of Sweden on March 24, 1938. Most swedes recognizes her as the Swedish Glass Queen from the Glass Kingdom of Småland in Swedish language called “Glasriket”.

Glasriket Glass Kingdom of Sweden

"Glasriket" The Kingdom of Glass

The Glass Kingdom “Glasriket” is an area of the Swedish Province Småland in the deep forests of south Sweden that has a strong glass making culture with a long history of many small glass-making studios and production sites, the area have had a substantial role in the Swedish glass making tradition since the 1700th-century.

The dark period of Ulrica Hydman

Ulrika Hydman-Vallien mainly worked with glass-making and painting her glass-works, she also made painting and illustrations on ceramics. She is known for her snakes, tulips and faces on glass and paintings. In her early years as an artist she got criticism for the darkness in her paintings and works. This darkness came as an affect of her son Mattias that drowned only 16 months old, when he unattended by his nanny went out on the thin ice on the river Lyckebyån close to the home of Ulrica one December day, when she herself was not at home.

This unfortunate accident is Ulricas deepest sorrow and darkest tragedy that came to affect her artistry, it took Ulrica about 20 years before she could talk about her sons death, this was the time she needed process the death of her son, which can be seen in some of her earlier works.

The later works of Ulrica and the works that have made her famous in Sweden and Internationally is not associated with darkness, but rather with more uplifting themes and motifs, she is nowadays primarily associated with colorful tulips, hearts, faces, wolves and snakes which have become her hallmark.

Ulrica Hydman-Vallien
Ulrica Hydman-Vallien Hearts and Tulip Plates Glasses and Vases

What about all the snakes?

The story about why Ulrica have many snakes in her artworks is because she sat down in a snake nest when she was a toddler only three years old. Her mother screamed as Ulrica held up the snakes and for her mother, after that day snakes became a strong expression for someone screaming.

Ulrica Hydman-Vallien Snakes-in her art

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