TONA series, Bengt Orup (Johanfors, 1957)


This series was designed by Bengt orup in 1957 for Johansfors. The name TONA means “fade”, and that’s the best thing about this series: the fading colours.

The series consists of an uncertain number of dishes, bowls and vases.

The TONA range was made in two different shades of green. This one I show here is the one most widely seen, the other one is a shade of olive/moss grayish green, from ehich i have only seen two.

15,3 x 14 cm. Signed: J-fors Orup

15,3 x 10,6 cm. Signed: Johansfors Orup

10,3 x 11,7 cm. Signed: J-fors Orup

14,6 x 16,5 cm. Signed: J-fors Orup

21,5 x 5,5 cm. Signed: J-fors Orup

29,3 x 7 cm. Signed: J-fors Orup

37,5 x 9,5 cm. Signed: J-fors Orup

31 cm (diameter). Signed: J-fors Orup

21 x 12 cm. Unsigned.

Bengt Orup photographed with several TONA items.
Image taken from the Bengt Orup official website



PORRO wine pitcher, Bengt Orup (Johanfors, 1952)


Bengt Orup designed this pitcher in 1952, the very same year he started working for Johansfors.

The design isn’t in fact as original as one might think, as it is clearly inspired by the traditional Spanish “porrón” (see picture below), which is used to pour the wine (usually red wine) straight into the drinker’s mouth, but he changed the traditional shape into one that seems to be absolutely accurate to its function while adopting a very modern and geometric look.  There is no doubt Orup knew about the porrón during a journey in Spain, (and I’d even dare to say in Catalonia, where it is called “porró”).


To drink from a porrón, a beginner starts by bringing the spout very close to his mouth and tilts it forward slowly so the beak points towards the teeth. Once the liquid starts coming out, the porró is pulled away from the face while the drinker looks up. To finish drinking, a beginner lowers the porrón and brings it back down and closer to the mouth again before stopping, quickly tilting the spout up at the last moment so there is no spillage. A regular user can start and stop drinking from the porrón with the spout held at a distance without spilling a drop.

Bengt ORUP (1916-1996)


BENGT ORUP (1916-1996) was born in Lindesberg, Sweden, and trained as a painter, attending the Colarossi and Grande Chaumière Academies in Paris between 1933 and 1938. He is considered one of the pioneers of Swedish post-war modernism, and as early as 1946 he was already experimenting with stripped down, geometric assemblages related to l’art concret. Around 1950 he created a series of concrete  paintings displaying a simple interplay between geometric shapes and sharp contrasts that, along with his work of the later decades, take him to a leading  position among Scandinavian concretists.

In 1952, Bengt Orup became artistic director for Johansfors Glass Works in Småland, where he worked until 1962 and later between 1967 and 1973. He designed everday glassware (services, bowls, vases and decanters, many of which are now classics, such as those belongig to the Party, Bar, Strikt orStripe series, as well as art glass, both in series (such as Tona, Stromboli or Spontana) or unique glass pieces.

Between 1963 and 1966 he was a designer for Hyllinge Glasbruk, near Helsinborg. And he stoped working with glass in the 1970s.

His career as a glass artist took him to the position of guest lecturer at the Royal Collage of Art in London in 1968, although je was an accomplished painter and had a succesful career as such.

Image taken from the Bengt Orup official website

Vase with blue bubbles underlay. Gunnar Nylund (Strömbergshyttan 1970-1975)


This vase is signed Strömberg B894 and shows a great display of both blue and clear bubbles. Whereas the shape is a design by Gunnar Nylund, the decoration was developed by Asta Strömberg around 1970 and was used in special collections in both small series or unic items. There is only one model with this decoration in the 1972 catalogue, so I guess this one must have been done bewteen 1973 and 1975.