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.

 

design pier 2018
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.

Finncham

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

 

 

 

 

Glass adventures

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.

G12 was my first solo show in Helsinki. It really opened many doors!
G12 was my first solo show in Helsinki. The exhibition was about a story told on glass.
I visited abandoned castle in Scotland while exhibiting in London. It is one of the places that inspired me to create a new story on glass that mixes up memories and places into fairytale scenes that follow dream logic.
I visited abandoned castle in Scotland while exhibiting in London. It is one of the places that inspired me to create a new story on glass that mixes up memories and places into fairytale scenes that follow dream logic.

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!

 

Open-air glass exhibition in Glasrijk tubbergen had a magical athmosphere.
Open-air glass exhibition in Glasrijk tubbergen had a magical athmosphere.
Our group had lots of fun demonstrating in Leerdam.
I'm hoping to create new versions from my lamps.
I’m hoping to create new versions of my lamps. Something simple and predigested.

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.

It was great to see the Foezzz Magazine with a great article about our group in Tubbergen. It was also fun to find glass story sculptures on the front page. So nice! It’s surprisingly easy to read Dutch without any language skills and also interesting to see all the dutch glass design on the magazine.

 

European Glass Festival 2016

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