Ulrica Hydman Vallien has been invaluable to the history of Kosta Boda, and during her lifetime she came to be a colorful icon in the world of glass. She had the ability to combine outstanding craftsmanship with incredible playfulness, and always placed the same passion in her work no matter whether it was a whole collection or a one-of-a-kind piece.
One of Ulrica's hallmarks was the painted glass. She often painted dramatic and humoristic motifs. To paint directly on glass was a new technique, and something which via Ulrica’s work came to be accepted even in finer circles, even if she wanted it to be accessible for everyone.
By the age of 20 she started her studies at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack). She chose ceramics as her material and had the porcelain artist Stig Lindberg as her teacher, amongst others. It was during her time at this school she met Bertil Vallien, who she married in 1963. While studying at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design she travelled to the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, and later on to Mexico and the US to find inspiration. 1982-1988 she was teaching at Pilchuck Glass School in the US, and she’s also been a teacher at Bildwerk in Germany.
Ulrica made her debut as a glass designer in 1971, and was thereafter part of shaping Kosta Boda’s productions during the 80s, 90s and 00s. She’s designed several successful collections for Kosta Boda - for example Mine, Tulipa and Caramba. Mine is one of Kosta Boda’s most beloved collections consisting of bowls, vases, plates and drinking glasses. When the collection was launched in 2002 it sold a quarter of a million glasses the first year.