We both began our careers as glass blowers in the mid-eighties; Nanna served her apprenticeship at Arresø Glashytte and Andrew blew his first bubbles in Stourbridge School of Glass in England. We met in Brittany in France, where we worked at l’Atelier de Verre in St. Meloir. By then we had both studied as glass blowers for about 4 years. After our stay in France, we moved to Denmark and began our life together as professional glass artists, partners in life and art.
In 1993 we opened our first glass blowing studio and shop, “Glassmedjen” in Kregme, Frederiksværk and after 14 successful years we made our dream come true - to design and build a studio by the sea. In 2008 we opened the doors
to what known today as “Backhaus Brown”. Our glass blowing studio, gallery and shop covers 540m² and is beautifully situated on the quayside in the heart of Hundested Harbour with views over the sea, sailing ships and fishing boats.
We handcraft and hand blow glass art and unique glass designs in a modern Scandinavian design. Our pieces are created using traditional glass forming techniques and with
a special love for the classical Italian design techniques of Pastorelli and Battuto.
We sell our art to individuals, companies, private and public collectors and galleries around the world and we have displayed our art at exhibitions in Denmark and internationally.
NANNA BACKHAUS BROWN
Danish glass artist Nanna Backhaus Brown began her training as a glass artist at Arresø Glashytte in North Zealand, Denmark. After qualifying, she moved to France and worked at L'Atelier du Verre, St. Meloir in France where she began as a production assistant and eventually a became partner. It was there, that Nanna developed her unique style with large pieces
of striking colours and clean, architectural shapes.
In 1993, Nanna moved back to North Zealand to found Backhaus Brown along with her husband Andrew.
Nanna's father is an architect and her mother a textile designer. Minimalistic Nordic design and architectural strictness are fundamental parts of Nanna's DNA. Certainly, Nanna loves the intricate, Italian Pastorelli technique and uses bold colours - but the overall expression of her works is always clean and crisp and in line with the Nordic design tradition. It is in the meeting of these components that we find Nanna's very own artistic expression.
Nanna has an extraordinary sense of colour, and the most wonderful use of colours is found across all her different styles. The colour combinations of her Pastorelli work as well as the remarkable opal colours in the architectural design of her pieces are Nanna´s trademarks. Such is Nanna's sense of colour that Andrew always turns to Nanna for picking the colours for his magnificent Glasskibe.
ANDREW JASON BROWN
British glass artist Andrew Brown first studied Art
& Design in Newcastle-under-Lyme (UK) before achieving an honours degree in 3D Glass Design at the University of Wolverhampton. He then went on
to study at the International Glass School in Stourbridge. In 1993, Andrew joined forces with Nanna Backhaus in Kregme, North Zealand, and in 2008 together they opened Backhaus Brown in Hundested, their studio, gallery and shop.
Andrew has always been fascinated by the combination of the hot glass and cold working - fire and water. In recent years he has concentrated on Battuto, which precisely embraces both work processes and allows him to immortalize the beautiful patterns and shapes he sees when sunlight hits the surface of the sea outside the workshop windows.
Battuto is an ancient and time-consuming Italian technique where glass is made first in a hot workshop then very carefully ground in a cold one. It was renewed and made relevant by the renowned architect and glass artist Carlo Scarpa in the 20th century.
Andrew's Battuto pieces are remarkable and display something that is strikingly modern while also having a timeless, ancient quality. His contemporary interpretations of historic rune stones are made from glass that is initially hand blown then painstakingly cut using Battuto and sandblasting techniques. Each piece embrace both his fascination with the passing of time and his admiration for, and mastery of, this ancient craft.
In much of his work Andrew likes to reflect stories, especially the stories and sagas of the Viking Age; his fascination with this period is most likely the result of his British heritage combined with a life spent in Denmark. Andrew expresses a humility for the incomparable precision, skill and level of detail found in the craftsmanship of the past and he is fascinated by the times before the opportunity was there to press “delete”; a time when errors were unchangeable.
Andrews fascination with this period has brought us the unique and sculptural Glasskibe made of glass and wood in collaboration with cabinetmakers Egeværk. The hulls of the Glasskibe are created using Andrew's specialty; the Battuto technique.