Working in a range of media, from furniture to wood, metalwork, jewelry, glass, ceramics, plastics, and graphic design, multifaceted Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala was a major figure of 20th-century post-war design. Trained as a sculptor, and taking inspiration from nature, Wirkkala is best known for his clean, organic, modern style, a hallmark of Scandinavian decorative and everyday utilitarian objects. Among his most recognized works are the Finnish markka banknote, introduced in 1955, the Finlandia vodka bottle and Iittala Glasswork’s Ultima Thule drinking glasses, that mimic the appearance of melting, dripping ice. In 1946 Wirkkala won a design competition for engraved glass organized by Iittala, and was hired by the firm. Between 1946 and 1951, he designed more than 120 pieces of art glass that were put into production by Iittala. Excelling at functional yet epressive design, Wirkkala spent thousands of hours with Iittala’s expert glassblowers developing techniques to produce art wares evocative of natural forms and materials, such as dormant plants, ice, and flowing water. Wirkkala received numerous international design awards throughout his life, starting in 1951, with three Grand prix at the IX Milan Triennale and the Lunning Prize in the US. His works in various media are in the collections of major museums throughout the world.
Brass and colored glass
10.0 x 79.0 x 45.0 cm (3.9 x 31.1 x 17.7 in)