It’s inspirational to be part of the Salone del Mobile 2020, internationally known as Milan Furniture Fair. Last year I visited Italy several times because of Venice glass week and A’Design Awards. I feel fortunate to be able to return once again! The Italian design atmosphere is wild and wonderful. After every visit my mind is full of new ideas for glass.
One of the projects that I will exhibit at the fair will be Cassiopeia. In the Glass Studio Hytti that is located at Suomenlinna fortress island, we use recycled Iittala Factory’s glass. In Cassiopeia I wanted to create an organic shape by gathering large glass sharts on the surface of the piece. This gives the object extremely rough texture that is carefully melted until all the sharp edges have been smoothed into bumpy ice like overlay.
The first prorotypes of the Cassipeia can also be found from Unionin26 design shop in Helsinki. It’s good to get some feedback before the trip to Milan, because there is still time to make the final adjustments to the project. I’m specially interested to highlight the recycled material as the basis of the design. There is somethign poetic about using broken glass as the material of a new piece.
It has been inspirational journey to design a line of luxury vases for Dutz Collection. The 9 object collection will tour European design fairs during 2018. As a Finnish glass designer it is a great joy to see that a series of high quality studio glass is introduced in commercial setting with a strong message: quality is value. Here is a glimpse to the first prototypes made in Riihimäki. The collection is inspired by the nature.
In this prototype I have wanted to capture the feeling that I have when I look at the nature, green treetops of old oaks. How the leaves are moving. How does it sound like. (Pics. Sini Majuri, Veikko Väänänen)
The premise of my glass design is to create objects that gain their value from the quality, design and material. My ambition has always been to create future classics. When I started to design the vase collection to Netherlands, I really wanted to capture the beauty of the glass material. I wanted the shapes to reflect serenity of the medium and to be weightless and strong at the same time.
The core of the collection is to create pieces that have soul: The vases are mouth blown and shaped by hand, signed and numbered. Each piece has unique color play inside the glass.
Sometimes a very simple object can became multi-dimensional, when you use glass medium. There is for example the visual layer of glass: how does the glass reflect, how will the colors look in different lighting. Above all there are also the historical layers of glass which comprice the origin of Finnish glass making and the rare knowledge behind the craftsmanship. It is interesting to contemplate the project from these perspectives and say once again: Quality is value!
Pic. Heidi-Hanna Karhu
On ollut kiinnostava projekti suunnitella hollantilaiselle Dutz Collectionille korkealaatuinen mallisto sisustuslasia. Yhdeksänesineinen kokonaisuus lähtee kiertämään eurooppalaisia design-messuja vuonna 2018. Suomalaisena lasimuotoilijana on ilo nähdä, kuinka Riihimäellä käsityönä valmistettua lasia viedään suurina erinä rohkeasti kaupallisille areenoille näin viestien: Laatu on arvoa!
Lasimuotoilussani lähtöajatuksena on aina ollut suunnitella esineitä, jotka kestävät aikaa: tulevaisuuden klassikoita. Harvinaislaatuisella käsityötaidolla veistetyt esineet viestivät alkuperän tärkeydestä, koska niissä käytetään puhtaita materiaaleja ja ne on suunniteltu ajatuksella materiaalin parhaita ominaisuuksia hyödyntäen, signeerattu ja numeroitu.
Kokonaisuuden teemana on luonto ja sen tunnelmat. Olen saanut suunnitteluuni inspiraation kotiseutuni vanhoista puista ja metsien äänimaisemista. Dutz Collectionin mallistossa esineet ovat massiivista, jopa veistoksellista lasia. Ne ovat muodoltaan samalla vahvoja ja keveitä. Joskus hyvin yksinkertainen muoto voi olla moniulotteinen, kun käytetään lasimateriaalia, koska lasin visuaalisuus heijastaa, peilaa ja antaa mahdollisuuden läpinäkyvyydellä leikittelyyn. Suupuhallettua lasimallistoa voi tarkastella myös suomalaisen lasinvalmistuksen historiaa vasten todeten: Laatu on arvoa!
It was a great experience to exhibit my first interior design objects in Tokyo. In many ways Japan is a logical place for Glass Mountains – because mountains have a special role in local culture. They can be seen even sacred. Therefore it was easy to explain the philosophy behind the design: that each object has a soul.
The way the huge design fair was build up was quite spectacular to watch. First the halls were full of bubble wrap, hammers, power cords and ladders when thousands of exhibiters opened up their cargo boxes. But suddenly when the clock struck six every detail was precise, wall stickers and podiums on their accurate place and the design event was ready for the opening day.
When looking back this project has been in many ways a dream come true and all the pieces just magically clicked together. I have always wanted find ways to bring my design to the mysterious Japan. I got a great opportunity to start working together with my family company that also made it possible to start manufacturing glass mountains as a serial interior design object. It was also great to see how the local countryside fund in Suonenjoki jumped in to support our design journey. Glass mountains from a small countryside city travelled a great distance to Tokyo to find cool new opportunities! Thank you so much to Mansikka ry and Maaseuturahasto for supporting our design adventure in Japan!
VUORI glass mountains are sophisticated interior design objects for elegant and modern spaces. Each unique peak is handcrafted in Finland with high standards. Mountains can be used as decoration objects and custom interior installations. The 2017 series is inspired by the Scottish Highlands. Textures, colors and the athmosphere of the glass pieces resonate the unparalleled scenery of the Highlands.
Glass mountains will be presented in ILT Interior Lifestyle Tokyo design fair in Nordic Lifestyle Pavillion in June 14 – 16. Come and visit the exhibition to find your own soulscape made from mouth blown glass!
I’m really looking forward to the year 2017 that is actually the 100-year anniversary of Finland. Many exciting new opportunities are awaiting for example in Ohio, Japan and England. The 100 year theme has inspired me to start a new narrative on glass that is based on Finnish national epic Kalevala. It will be a surreal and dreamlike story about independence and finding one’s true self.
When looking back I find that the year 2016 has been full of glass adventures. Last summer I had my first solo exhibition in Gallery G12 in Helsinki where I exhibited a glass story about a flying boat. Even there has been many expo’s before this, it was in a way my first step as a independent glass artist. That step was important to take, because a solo show gave the glass story harmony that it needed. After this the year got really busy; I had a change to travel around and see different kind of events, shows, fairs and festivals that were concentrated on design, glass and contemporary art.
Every exhibition in 2016 has been memorable: For example in Glasrijk Tubbergen it was delightful to see a small Dutch town full of modern glass. Art from multiple European masters were exhibited all around the town; in glass houses in the middle of the town square to magical illuminated glass forests. I travelled to Tubbergen with my fellow glass artists Marja Hepo-aho and Kari Alakoski. In November our group also had a great opportunity to show our art in beautiful Galerie De Lintelo, in Haaksbergen.
Many of the events I have taken part have been about contemporary art. This is why it was really refreshing to visit also Tendence fair in Frankfurt and immerse in a world of design. At the moment I’m concentrating on developing further some of my design objects, for example Polar Night-lamp. It would be cool to have a small lamp series in the future. Let’s see how it goes!
During the X-mas holidays I have had many surprises in my letterbox: Design magazines that I have given interviews have travelled to my breakfast table from UK, Spain and Netherlands. It is always exiting to talk with writers, because it is a change to really stop and think about all the things behind the art. The most peculiar interview lately have been in Finnish Karjala magazine, where I was asked to tell about my family heritage and how my roots have influenced my creativity. Because of the interview I realised that so many of my dearest artistic themes springs from the old believes, stories and dreams that are told by my family. They are in a way distant echoes of the past. This interview gave me many ideas for the Kalevala-story that I’m working with at the moment. It was also great fun to give a very extensive interview to Huff Magazine from UK that opened my eyes on what my art is all about: dreams that are like puzzles and poems: Build up piece by piece – layer by layer. What is hidden, is the most important.
European Glass Festival 2016 will take place in Wrocław, the European Capital of Culture 2016. I will participate in Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde, the main exhibition of event that will also tour in Łódź, Legnica and Kraków.
Robert Louis Stevensons novella: Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) has been the starting point of my creative process that has been an examination of the inner struggle between good and evil inside of human mind. I wanted to capture the duality of human nature inside the glass: feminine and masculine, human and animal, barbarian and civilized. The main idea behind the pieces was also to create a sanctuary for broken minds where a mind can be shattered, but also complete in the same time.
Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde – Festival Main Exhibition
Wrocław Główny Station – 17.10.2016 – 10.11.2016 – Session Room
Łódź –17.11.2016 – 10.12.2016 – Municipal Art Gallery – Re:Medium Gallery – ul. Piotrkowska Legnica –16.12.2016 – 29.01.2017 – RING Gallery in Legnica
Kraków – 07.02.2017 – 31.03.2017 – BB Gallery
Our team of glass artists are representing Finland in Glasrijk Tubbergen and exhibiting glass that is made in never before seen ways. In the glass blowing demonstrations we are also demonstrating rare Scandinavian glass blowing techniques. Our group is hoping to build long lasting cooperation between Finland and Netherlands. Therefore we are visiting local museums, galleries, companies and artists around the country. Welcome to see the exhibition and our cool demostrations!
Sini Majuri is combining 100-years old graal technique with modern 3D design creating 3 to 6 layered images inside glass. Her works are cartoon stories inside glass and exhibited in 30 international exhibitions around the world, for example in London, Toronto, Leerdam and New York. The optical illusions of the glass material make her works surreal and dreamlike.
Marja Hepo-aho mixes hot glass with natural stone, combining these two elements into one. Her innovative approach to the medium push the limits of the art and functional glass bringing the unique handcraft to everyday use. Water is an important element in her works as she explores moving, frozen and raining water in her sculptures.
Kari Alakoski is a glass artist who was born near a glass factory of Iittala in 1956. The glass art has been part of his life ever since his childhood. He has blown Pro Arte products like Tapio Wirkkalas’ Kanttarelli and Timo Sarpanevas’ Orkidea as well as done also special series of Aalto-vases. The artistic nature of Kari Alakoski is described as experimental. His every work has something which breaks the conventional and makes it personal. Alakoski does his work often freely blown.