Roland Gill and Andris Nolendorfs were both working with lighting at Orrefors Glassworks when they got the idea of starting their own business. Weary of glass fittings hanging crooked, they decided: no more glass, sheet metal is the right material! Both had made the acquaintance of designer Börge Lindau and their confidence in him was so great that they decided to start their own business if Börge would join them as designer. Börge was convinced by the bold idea and said he would support them with his interest and skills. When the newly formed company was christened, it was Börge who suggested the name Zero.
In view of the very small resources, Börge felt that the choice of materials for the first lights was very important if they were to be noticed and considered innovative. So he suggested that perforated sheet metal would be suitable. The choice of material proved so successful that practically the entire range for the first 10 years consisted of various fittings in different types of perforated sheet metal.
After moving the business from the garage, wharf and attic, they gradually rented premises in an old industrial estate in the centre of Nybro. Here there was room for the company which after some years began to expand quickly. When Börge established his own furniture company, Blå Station, Zero began their long-term, forward-looking and still ongoing collaboration with Per Sundstedt. He wanted to start designing glass fittings as he was tired of metal. Today Zero's range is dominated by various glass fittings designed by Per Sundstedt!
In 1989, Zero acquired the Pukeberg Glassworks and its premises. Pukeberg Glassworks in Nybro was started in 1871 and for many years was owned by the Böhlmarks Lampfabrik in Stockholm. Böhlmarks began by producing paraffin lamps but as time went on became an important manufacturer of electrical light fittings. They bought the glass for the paraffin lamps from Pukeberg and quickly became the Glassworks' largest customer. At the beginning of the 1900s, Böhlmarks had begun to work with artists and now they had an opportunity to start designing Pukeberg glassware. It is interesting to note that the first designers, Harald Notini and Uno Westerberg, were both interior designers. Göran Wärff joined them as an architecture student to practice on a new building in Pukeberg and was afterwards employed as a designer as he was an excellent draughtsman.
Of all designers who began their careers at Pukeberg, perhaps Eva Englund is still the most famous. She joined the company as a graduate from art college and succeeded Göran Wärff who had joined Kosta. Eva, who returned to Pukeberg after a long career at Orrefors, here created some of her greatest successes including Malakit and Indigo. In the last years of her life she created some of her most fantastic Graal pieces.
The tradition of lighting production returned to Pukeberg when Zero brought Pukeberg in 1989. The year before Zero had started a subsidiary, the Lustrum furniture company, and it now appears that Böhlmarks too was making tubular steel furniture in the 30's. The circle really is complete!
Today Pukeberg's q-marked glassworks is a famous tourist attraction. Here you can watch glass manufacture and visit a glass museum. There are treasures to be found in the shop, or visit Zero's and Lustrum's exhibitions. The old grindery has been renovated and in Septe