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© Lars Clement
© Poul Nyholm
© Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
© Poul Nyholm

Karen Nyholm

Karen Nyholm Glassblower
Danish, English
Tuesday to Friday 11:00 - 17:00 and Saturday 10:00 - 13:00
+45 50985717
© Håkan Aldrin

From imagination to reality

  • • Karen perfected her skills at the glass school in Bornholm
  • • Her favourite technique is hot sculpting
  • • Nature is an important inspiration, as is the digital world

Always fascinated by art, Karen Nyholm has been working with glass since 1998 and fell passionately in love with hot glass the first time she tried it. During her glassmaking studies on the Danish island of Bornholm, she met her husband, the artist Ned Cantrell, and in 2004 they opened their first hotshop in the centre of Aarhus. In 2015, they transferred to the old port town of Ebeltoft and set up Nyholm Cantrell in the ex-studio of Tchai Munch and Finn Lynggaard. There, they support each other in their work, however, since each has their own interests, agendas and aesthetics, they rarely collaborate. As a creator, Karen always infuses the pieces she is working on with part of her personality and that has enabled her most recent foray into subjects including alter-egos and doppelganger (lookalikes).

Read the full interview


  • © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
  • © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
  • © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
  • © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
  • © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
Photo: © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
Delicious Brain

This piece was handmade in glass using the hot sculpting technique and created as an expression of the conflicting relationship between heart and mind. It was conceived to bring out different types of emotions, such as repulsion, fascination or curiosity.

Depth 18 cm
Width 18 cm
Height 11 cm

Photo: © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
Fish Bowl

This vessel was hand blown and sandblasted. To create a floating effect and a sense of depth, Karen introduced a ring of stainless steel into the glass.

Depth 22 cm
Width 22 cm
Height 13 cm

Photo: © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
Growing Heart

The Growing Heart sculpture was handmade in glass using the hot sculpting technique and created as an expression of growing love. Depicting the heart – the essential life-giving organ – in glass is highly symbolic for Karen as both are associated with fragility and susceptible to the passing of time.

Height 29 cm

Photo: © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
Lily Skull

Karen was inspired to make this piece by the Mexican Calavera skulls made of sugar which are used in the country's celebration of the Day of the Dead. It was hot sculpted in coloured glass and created as a tribute to life.

Height 21 cm
Width 12 cm
Depth 16 cm

Photo: © Kurt Rodahl Hoppe
Smoky Cloud

This skull sculpture was hot sculpted in glass and created as a tribute to life and death. Through the juxtaposition of death symbols and glass, Karen addresses the fragility of both life and the glass medium. The smoky grey colour of the skull and the silver cloud on top reinforce the melancholic feeling.

Height 20 cm
Width 13 cm
Depth 16 cm

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