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.

 

Blowing the first piece for the European Glass Festival 2016

The theme for the European Glass Festival 2016 is Jekyll & Hyde. So something ominous and bloody is about to be blown under the layers of glass. All the invited artist are creating two glass sculptures with this topic and it has been truly interesting to strive to use glass in a bit twisted way.  Today I was working at Mafka&Alakoski’s Glass Studio in Riihimäki. We pondered about how to create blood splatters inside the glass but still maintain the sculpture poetic, mystic and fresh. The solution was to add spoonfull of red colours on two layers of the glass sculpture.

Creating a glass sculpture with Kari Alakoski in Riihimäki.
Creating the first glass sculpture for European Glass Festival 2016 with Kari Alakoski in Riihimäki.

 

The blood splatters were added with a silver spoon
The blood splatters were added with a silver spoon!

 

I'm using multiple layered graal-technique in the sculpture.
I’m using multiple layered graal-technique in the first sculpture. The second sculpture will be a companion for this one.

The exhibition will be held in Wrocław Poland, European Capital of Culture 2016 in 15.10.2016 – 23.10.2016. After this the exhibition will tour in Łódź (the City Art Gallery in Łódź), Legnica (the Art Gallery in Legnica); Jelenia Góra (the Karkonosze Museum, Krakow (the BB Gallery).