May 21 Öland Enchantment

The UMD group joined Linneaus University students for an island adventure. Our first stop after crossing the long, long bridge to the island of Öland was Capellagården, a craft college founded by the famous furniture designer, Carl Malmsten. He transformed decaying farmhouses into student houses, workshops, and studios where the students paid tribute to old Swedish traditions. We saw cabinet making, woodworking, ceramics, textiles, design, and horticulture.

Next, lunch on the harbor, and after that the Vida Museum, an art gallery devoted to the work of internationally acclaimed glass artists Ulrica Hydman-Vallien and Bertil Vallien. We saw Bertil’s series of glass boats, maps, and heads, and Ulrica’s highly original work in glass, textile prints and carpets. Ulrica’s work is sometimes black and white and other times highly colored and her figures include snakes, eyes, tulips and hearts.

Our final stop was a secret garden, created and tended by twin brothers solely for the use of island friends. An acre or more of rock walls, sprouting spinach and other vegetables, wild flowers, benches and tables easily served our 60 members of the tour.

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