On DesignMarch 2014, Swedish designer Petra Lilja presented a design project inspired by the myth of Medusa. Various items adorned the exhibition, including a bedspread by Vík Prjónsdóttir and Petra Lilja in which they collaborated on an expedition to discover new worlds of knitting.

Petra Lilja gets inspired when she explores the boundaries between design and craft in her work, as well as through music,
art, mythology and nature.

The Medusa mythology is the story I’m inspired by and the concept has got a fundamental aspect of sustainability. Medusa turns wood into stone so that we avoid polluting quarrying. This transformation is done with the help of decorative painting – a traditional craft anchored in our own cultural history. As a designer, I want to put focus on craft in general and specifically this extinct craft of decor painting. I also chose Medusa because I think she’s an interesting female role model and the myth can be interpreted in many ways drawing parallels to contemporary gender equality issues.

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Petra Lilja was in charged of coloring and patterns of color in the production process of theses hand blown glasses in a small glass factory in Sweden. The bases of the glasses are lathed wood.

The inspiration for the series of glasses was an old broken glass mended with a wooden base that she saw when she visited an elderly couple who are collectors of peasant objects in south of Sweden.

I was attracted by the combination of the materials – glass and wood – but most of all intrigued by this era when objects had a high value and people mended things instead of throwing out and buying new.


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The Medusa Necklaces are made from deconstructed pieces of furniture found in flea markets. The turned wooden pieces had lost their function, so she cutted them in half and painted the front in various marble techniques. Other materials used are natural leather and brass details.

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Images by Petra Lilja