Glass is a material with unique design properties. Renewed interest in glass art in the late 19th century resulted in new creative opportunities for Art Nouveau artists working in glass.
European glassworks experimented with new methods, colours and forms. Émile Gallé (1846–1904), a French artist, developed a special technique known as cameo glass, inspired by Asian glassmaking traditions. It involved applying thin layers of differently coloured glass to a glass body, and then cutting and etching to create multicoloured motifs of plants or animals. The technique became popular throughout Europe.
Very few artists produced Art Nouveau cameo glass in Norway, but one exception was Axel Enoch Boman (1875–1948). Boman was already an established glass artist in his native Sweden when he received a commission from Hadeland Glassverk at Jevnaker in 1911. He produced 137 pieces in total, 114 of which were one of a kind. All the pieces are signed, dated and numbered, and bear the Hadeland Glassverk stamp. Like Gallé, Boman drew inspiration for his motifs from nature’s wealth of shapes and colours.