"Sutemos" - a glass owl figurine designed by Nathan Jurevicius for the IKEA Art Event.

The making of a glass owl

Allow us to introduce you to “Sutemos” – a glass owl figurine designed by Nathan Jurevicius for the fourth IKEA Art Event.

“The owl symbology is very important to my Lithuanian heritage and has appeared on stamps, coins and features heavily in mythology. I’ve used the owl in much of my creations over the past 10 years – including toys for Kidrobot, installations and an epic animated mini-series titled ‘Pelėda’.”

However, about seven other concepts were explored before this one came to life. Nathan explains that all of them had references to owls in one way or another.

“The initial design process was enjoyable and free. To begin with, there were no major restrictions except for a few basic guidelines. The most difficult during the production was working with the limitations of blown and cast glass. Making sure the mould would work with the design and understanding what type of decoration would best suit. It wasn’t until I actually visited the glass factory and had the ability to work hands-on that I fully fathomed how my figures would actually be produced.”

Nathan Jurevicius testing his design in a glass mould at the Målerås Glassworks.
Nathan Jurevicius testing his design in a glass mould at the Målerås Glassworks.

After testing Nathan’s initial design the team found that it was unsuitable for the mould. A simpler design was produced with an eye-catching metallic ombré glaze. “I actually really loved it. This was also in blown glass. Together we ended up deciding that the design needed to be a combination of the first and second design – the simplicity of the second with the uniqueness of the first. This was then made as cast glass and kept in a pure, clear crystal look. The final result was beautiful.”

It wasn’t until I actually visited the glass factory and had the ability to work hands-on that I fully fathomed how my figures would actually be produced.

A process of trial and error has inspired Nathan to want to produce an entire line of glass – something he’d never contemplated before. But for now, he has the hopes that “Sutemos” will be radiating a sense of wisdom, protection and peace in homes across the globe.

“’Sutemos’ means Nightfall in Lithuanian. For me, this time of the day is my most creative. Owls are generally nocturnal so there’s further meaning in the name and in my own functional rhythm. It’s when my ideas rapidly flow, almost as if I’m wearing some type of inspirational headdress, or have a magic totem next me.”

This fourth series of the IKEA Art Event will be available for a limited time starting in April 2018, and be sold in Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia and China.

After simplifying the design, Nathan added an eye-catching metallic ombré glaze to the figurine.
After simplifying the design, Nathan added an eye-catching metallic ombré glaze to the figurine.