In the heart of Småland, Sweden, lies Glasriket, which translates to the Glass Kingdom. There, in the small village of Månsamåla, we find the home of artist Åsa Jungnelius. We visited her to explore her relationship with creativity and perfection, and we were greeted by an oasis where creation, tranquility, and inspiration coexist under several roofs.
The property is located in a peaceful forest and comprises several houses adorned with iconic Swedish red walls and white corners between which chickens roam freely. A striking sense of calm fills the body as we walk between the houses that serve as both Åsa's home, workshop, and studio.
"My home is like an extra body to me. It's an extension of what I want to express in the encounter with the place itself," she explains. For Åsa, creativity arises in interaction with the context, which is reflected in both her artistry and her home, both of which exist within this sanctuary of creativity – a place made for living, creating, and breathing in.
Her sense of creativity springs from a collision between the inner and the outer worlds, something that originally developed from dissatisfaction. "As a child, I struggled to articulate my heightened sensitivity. But already then, I had difficulty accepting how reality was presented." Today, Åsa has dedicated her life to putting shape to reality, embracing her sensitivity and making it one of her greatest strengths – a well-tuned intuitive tool that has made her one of Sweden's most sought-after artists.
Design is a way for Åsa to meet human needs. It is essential for her to serve a function, but it doesn't have to be at the expense of expression. Her artistry is a reflection of the constant paradox of being human. "You are both perfect and imperfect, and that's life itself." She believes that emotions, states of mind, and things can be both light and heavy at the same time.
One of her most renowned pieces, which we had the privilege of glimpsing in her home, is Crackle. This progressive series, created for Kosta Boda, features vases with unique expressions characterized by cracked surfaces that spread light through the fractures. The series is developed through traditional craftsmanship techniques and is inspired by the four elements. The vase gets its unique expression by lowering hot, mouth-blown glass into icy water, and the technique results in the glass cracking while maintaining its beautiful shape. Through this process, elements of timelessness and sustainability intertwine with untamed, organic components, capturing the essence of the moment.
"I have always sought that intersection where one can experience both. Whether it's a situation, an object, or artistic work, I aim to embrace the entirety. It is not about choosing between one or the other, but rather a collaboration – joy and sorrow, perfection and imperfection. It is in these paradoxical yet harmonious blends that objects come alive, vibrating with an irresistible allure."
Within Åsa's home, we are captivated by the untamed expressions that seamlessly blend with the expansive rooms. Glass furnaces intermingle with artworks, and functional workspaces seamlessly integrate with spaces for living and being. Her home, much like the Småland forest that surrounds it, is a dynamic and ever-evolving entity, with memories extending outward like the annual rings of a tree.
Photography: Mira Wickman
Video: Edling Agency
Written by: Camilla Brandow