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 Pier Hong Kong

 

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I was invited to the annual Design Pier 2018 exhibition in Hong Kong. It’s wonderful to be one of the 20 young talents that are highlighted in the show! This year Finland has a special role in the exhibition: we have two designers in it. I’m so happy to represent Finland with Lincoln Kayiwa! The idea in the exhibition is that each object tells a story – True tales by design.

I will exhibit two very opposite projects; The Jungle collection and Icebergs. The contrasts in nature and the way they create harmony was what I desired to capture in the Jungle collection. The rhythm of the glass making process ensures that each object has a unique colour play inside the glass. The movement of the glass creates vivid illusions in thick material that come to life when the object is illuminated. The Jungle collection is also introduced in European Design Fairs in Munich, Hamburg, Gorinchem, Stockholm and Frankfurt by DutZ Design.

 

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Iceberg: I wanted to create a playful interior object that people can arrange into landscape like installations. Icebergs also works as a individual sculptures. The surface of each object is always unique. When hot lava like-glass is touched with icy cold metal, it ripples and creates a wavy texture. It is in a way a fingerprint of the glass that can not be reproduced. I wanted the ice peaks to have multiple surface textures that also create interesting optic illusions and reflections. When light is gleaming trough the glass, shadow looks like water.

 

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Glass mountains has been exhibited in Scandinavian Pavilion of The Interior Lifestyle Tokyo Japan 2017 and in Designboom Pavillion in Toronto Interior Design Show 2018.

 

Stories are fundamental to human existence. Stories structure our thinking, the way we live our lives and make sense of our experiences. Objects tell stories too. Stories of the culture they come from, stories of the people who dreamed them, their struggles and their success. Stories of a creative process that formed them, the materials they are made up from. Stories of how they transformed human environments.

Design Pier’s new exhibition guides its guests into the world of creation and presents twenty international cutting-edge designers and design brands whose products connect with us on an emotional level because they have a story to tell.

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Design Pier Exhibition
28th – 31st March
Opening 27 March at 7 PM
Lanson Place Hotel,
133 Leighton Road,
Causeway Bay,
Hong Kong

Future Classics: A Glass Vase Collection to Netherlands

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!

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