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Bjørn Friborg on Yale University Radio

Bjørn Friborg is a Danish glass artist based in Denmark. Friborg challenges traditional methods of glass-making with a physically demanding approach that stretches the limits of both the material and technique.

His technique is not a means to an end but a performance, as he fearlessly punches, penetrates, manipulates, and ruptures the molten substance to achieve otherworldly and sublimely beautiful results. Friborg’s movements are a tour de force reflective of his mastery. Friborg starts each artwork by blowing a large object that is then penetrated with a mass of silver nitrate-based glass poured on top. The molten nitrate-based glass sculpts the shape, freezes, and becomes an artwork. This process is described as “A blast of energy… all that power that you channel into the material gives it the expression.” Says Friborg. “That’s what it contains, and that’s what I mean when I say that I’m just trying to find the maximum of honesty that it just has. I’m just trying to push myself to the limits. Everything is just really impulsive; all the mixes … are created at the moment. Creating something is coming closer to yourself, and getting to know yourself better. It’s like an addiction, both in terms of doing and not being able to stop doing it.”

Friborg began working in the glass industry in 1999 as as a high school drop-out. He then attended the technical school in Kosta for three years and got a job straight out of school at the Orrefors Glassworks where Kosta Boda produced all of their art glass.

Friborg received a BFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation in 2013 after studying in Sweden at the Åfors Glasbruk, V.1 Mästare Ingvar Carlsson “Kalle Pack” and the Kosta Glass School. His work has been exhibited nationally in Denmark and the Scandinavian region and internationally.

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