Collective and solo – cocreations of designers and glassblowers
The Finnish Glass Museum’s exhibition at Design Museum Iittala 7.5.2022 – 31.1.2023
Many Finnish glass items – such as the Aalto vase, Wirkkala’s Tapio glasses and Birds by Toikka – continue to reflect cooperation between glass artists and glassblowers.
Iittala seeks to cherish and foster the expertise of excellent glassblowers, mould makers, engravers and glassgrinders. This is very positive in terms of glass design and art. Iittala produces labour-intensive exclusive unique pieces designed by glass artists and designers, challenging the skills of glassblowers while also seeking to benefit from technical innovations.
This creates unique cooperation between artists, designers and glassmakers, which continues to lay the foundation for creating both artistic pieces and entirely new types of glassware.
Artists have always required masterful performances from glassmakers. Designers – such as Nathalie Lautenbacher, Santtu Mustonen, Harri Koskinen, Matti Klenell and Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec – challenge glassmakers and create exquisite pieces in close cooperation with them.
Glass artists and designers would not be able to create their pieces without extremely skilful glass-blowers such as Heikki Punkari, Tero Välimaa, Aada Vainio, Hanna Välimaa, Heikki Ollitervo, Toni Engelberg, Saara Sirkeoja and Mitsuru Sato. Many glassblowers have a desire to further develop their skills, even outside their work assignments. They greatly appreciate the opportunities offered by the employer, the Iittala glass factory, to work with glass in their free time. By trying various techniques and materials and challenging themselves, they create unique works of art while also further improving their skills.
Glassblowers are both craftspeople and artists. Throughout history, they have also produced creations of their own in their free time in factories. This has enabled them to challenge their skills and express their artistic vision.
The exhibition reflects the interaction between glassblowers’ own works of art and the pieces they have created in cooperation with glass artists and designers.