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Ola Höglund Making Penguins

Glass Penguin
in the

The Höglund Art Glass family of finely handcrafted crystal penguins are individual creations, which begin life as pure silica sand.

The sand is melted in the glass furnace at a temperature in excess of 1360ÅC for 12 hours. By morning the crystal glass is ready to be gathered onto the glassblower’s iron blowpipe, and work can begin on a penguin. At this stage, the crystal glass is at a working temperature of around 1150ÅC.

In the hands of master glassblowers at the Höglund Glassblowing Studio, crystal glass is patiently transformed into a unique work of art which can never be duplicated. Using techniques and tools that go back centuries, as well as the critical eye of an artist, the glassblowers shape and create these lifelike birds.

The hot crystal glass is rolled in crushed, colored glass to create the familiar black and white body of the penguin.

When completed, the penguin is put into the annealing kiln to cool down to room temperature over a period of 20 hours. Once cold, the penguin goes through a diamond cutting and polishing process which requires skilled people to work different grinding wheels – and a lot of patience. Hand crafted glass is an art form, which bears the ‘fingerprint’ of the craftsman in every piece he creates. Therefore each penguin has its own characteristics and its own unique appeal, with slight variations in color, shape and size. It is hand engraved with name for collector’s reference, and then individually packaged in its own gift box.

Different sizes of penguins are available, from the mini to a large ‘show piece’. They are collectors’ items - either individually or to build into a full family set over the years. The penguins have international appeal – and do they travel! They have been sent from New Zealand to the UK, South Africa and all around the world, each time knowing that their new owner will find them appealing... and they are now also available in the U.S. from Sea Life Creations!

History of Glass
Glass Facts What Is Crystal?

Artist's Profile & CV  

Ola Höglund of Höglund Art Glass
Ola Höglund

Marie Simberg-Höglund of Höglund Art Glass
Marie Simberg-Höglund

Ola Höglund and Marie Simberg-Höglund settled in New Zealand in 1982, where they have a glassblowing studio in Nelson, the Northern tip of the South Island.

Born in Sweden, Ola and Marie trained with Kosta Boda and Orrefors, before three years in Africa on a Swedish Government (SIDA) development project, teaching the art of hand-blown glass techniques in Swaziland.

Ola & Marie have exhibited their art glass in more than 20 international exhibitions, including the New York Art Expo, the SOFA Exhibition in Chicago and exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, Indonesia, the US, Hong Kong and Japan. Ola and Marie’s work features in public and private collections worldwide. In 2000, Höglund Art Glass was appointed to produce the “Official Team New Zealand and America’s Cup 2000 & 2003 Art Glass” and the “Official Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Art Glass”.

KostaBoda - Sweden - 1972-1976

Orrefors Glass School - Sweden - 1976-1977

Västkusthyttan - Sweden - 1977-1978

Ngwenya Glass - Swaziland - 1978-1981

Hokitika Glass - New Zealand - 1982-1984

Höglund Art Glass Studio - Nelson, New Zealand - 1984-present

Höglund Art Glass Gallery - Auckland, New Zealand - 1999 - present

Höglund Art Glass Gallery -Sydney, Australia - 2000 - present

Höglund Art Glass Gallery - Melbourne Australia - 2001 - present

Höglund Art Glass Studio - Port Douglas, Australia - 2002-present


1987 Merit Award Hot Glass 87 Compendium Gallery

1989 UBS Craft Award 89 Suter Gallery

1989 Art Award 89 Academy of Fine Arts

1990 Craft Award 90 Academy of Fine Arts

Exhibitions (Selected)

1985 - Wellington Cultural Centre - New Zealand

1986 - Crafts Council - Wellington, New Zealand

1987 - Gisborne Museum - New Zealand

1988 - Kanazawa Ishikawa -Japan

1989 - Academy of Fine Arts - Wellington, New Zealand

1990 - CSA Gallery - Christchurch, New Zealand

1991 - The Gallery - Akaroa, New Zealand

1992 - Suter Gallery - Nelson, New Zealand

1993 - The Glass Gallery - Christchurch, New Zealand

1994 - Otago Museum - Dunedin, New Zealand

1995 - Ludwig Beck - Munich, Germany

1996 - Compendium Gallery - Auckland, New Zealand

1997,98,99 - SOFA exhibition - Chicago, USA

1998 - Varberg Museum - Sweden

1999 - New York Art Expo - USA

2000 - Jenggala Gallery - Bali, Indonesia

2000 - Compass Rose - Singapore

2000 - Olympic Games - Australia

2000 - Las Vegas, New York Art Expo - USA

2001 - Höglund Art Glass Gallery - Melbourne, Australia

2002 - Te Papa Museum of NZ - Wellington, New Zealand

2003 - Gadfly Gallery, Perth, Australia

2004 - Suter Gallery, Nelson, NZ

2004 - Page One Taipei, Taiwan

2005 - Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, USA

2005 - Neiman-Marcus, Las Vegas, USA

2006 - Contemporary Art Gallery, Hong Kong

2006 - Paragon Bangkok, Thailand

2007 - Powerhouse Museum - Smart Works Sydney, Australia

Public Collections (Selected)

Tasmania Museum and Gallery - Australia

Auckland Museum - New Zealand

Nelson Polytechnic - New Zealand

Ebeltoft Glass Museum - Denmark

Power House Museum - Sydney, Australia

Private Collections (selected)

Mohammed Ali - USA

Sir Elton John - UK, USA

Bill Clinton - USA

The King and Queen of Sweden

The King of Tonga

Prime Ministers - Japan, NZ

Christie's - New York, USA