A Glass Journey in Toronto and New York

Exhibition venue for the Nordic Glass exhibition is Harbourfront Centre

A lakeside view opens through the huge windows of Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Behind the centre rises the CN Tower, the landmark of the city. The building, surrounded by skyscrapers, is filled with Scandinavian art. The self-portraits of Iiu Susiraja cover the walls of the Portraits at Home exhibition. The next space is occupied by massive ceramic works of Anders Herwald Ruhwald. The exhibition, called The Hand is the Mind is the Bomb that Blows, lives up to its name. Nordic Glass gathers up nine skilled Nordic glass artists, who rewrite the history of Nordic glass in the 21st century.

The description of the exhibition:

Nordic glass was at a high point in the mid-20th century. Famous glass factories like Orrefors, Iittala, Holmegaard and Kosta Boda; and designers such as Tapio Wirkkala and Alvar Aalto were synonymous with good design and refined taste. This heyday created distinctive identities for all four countries—Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland—and collectively added to the Scandinavian Modern aesthetic. Sadly, few of the glass factories remain due to market pressures and outsourcing. However, these economic realities have not lessened the association of well-designed and crafted glass within Nordic countries. The situation has given rise to a bright new generation of glass artists and designers; ones with independent spirits focused on self-expression, experimentation and entrepreneurship. This exhibition highlights a group of glass artists shaping the future of Nordic glass for the 21st century.

My objects in the exhibition are glass mountains. These interior design sculptures can be organized to form either scenic ensembles, glass installations or mental landscapes. Glass imitates the characteristics of ice by frosting and cracking. It is the aesthetic of quietness.

I’m exhibiting Icebergs in the Norden Festival
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Opening party of the Norden Festival was full of interesting art folks.

During my journey I had the also the chance to visit New York and meet with design gallerists. I was delighted to visit for example Usagi Gallery, where my Sade sculpture was on display during the NYX Design event. Meeting with my contacts in Toronto also gave ideas to some possible future collaboration projects. It was extremely interesting to visit design and art businesses both in Toronto and New York as well as glass galleries of northern parts of USA. Glass was blown in tourist attractions, schools and culture centres. The Nordic Glass exhibition is open in Toronto until the summer of 2019. Welcome!

Visiting Usagi Gallery in New York

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Design adventure in Japan

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.

 

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The Interior Lifestyle Tokyo design fair 2017 was held in Tokyo Big Sight that is the largest international convention venue in Japan. My glass design was a part of the Nordic Lifestyle exhibition in Scandinavian Pavilion.
The exhibition halls were beautiful and stylish. The show really was a good vantage point to Japanese design world. I noticed that most of the people spoke only Japanese so it was very important to have a expert interpreter. I was super lucky to have skilful Kanoko as my interpreter to help out!
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The workers attached the wall sticker on the wall. It was also very interesting to see how a large show like this was created in a fast and accurate tempo!

 

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.

 

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It was great to get the glass mountains in the front page of the fair guide. It was a big help for reaching out interesting partners during the event!
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I was happy to see, how people really understood the design philosophy behind the glass mountains: how each mountain is unique and has it’s own “soul”.
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I was so happy to meet the ambassador of Finland and his wife. They also gave some good and cool hints for the future!
Vuoksi glasses are inspired by the melting ice. Each glass is unique like a snowflake.

 

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!

Find more info from my new Facebook pages!

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Glass Mountains

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!

作家Sini Majuri(フィンランド) フィンランドでz生まれたガラス・デザイン。 ガラスの山々からなる、たったひとつだけのノルディックな景色を創りませんか?インテリア・デザインにソウルを! この山々は1000度の溶岩状の溶融硝子を、冷氷水の中に浸すことで造られています。

ILT interior lifestyle Tokyo

Nordic Lifestyle

West Hall 1, D-12

Sini Majuri: Vuori

June 14 – June 16

Tokyo, Japan