Flickr Widget

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Icy goodness

Lately I've been drawn to the icy designs of Tapio Wirkkala. Most of the pieces I love most are mid-to-late 60s vintage, with a few early 70s for good measure. On a timeline, these particular designs are just at the edge of what I usually consider my cut-off date for mid-century, but many of his other pieces fall squarely in middle of the era, and his beautiful freeform work brings elegance to any MCM table. In my opinion, at least one Wirkkala piece is a must-have for a mid-century home, and I'm still waiting to find one for mine.

Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) was a pioneer of Finnish industrial art and gained international fame after World War II. He designed jewelry, furniture, glassware, stoneware and even plasticware. From 1970-2000, Finlandia used his design for their vodka bottle. Wirkkala was also a sculptor of some renown. 

Alpine vase

Avena vase

Iceberg vase

Inari bowl

Tree form vase

Stellaria console bowl

Ultima Thule glassware

Wirkkala's bottles for Finlandia vodka

How I wish I'd had the foresight to cut and polish a few of these into vases and bowls. What a conversation piece they would be today!


  1. Wow! You would think it was really ice! Very interesting.

  2. @Rhan Vintage: Really! You could sculpt a bowl from a block of ice and put it beside these pieces, and you wouldn't be able to tell which was glass and which was really ice.

  3. the name is so justified...for a moment, before i read the post, i thgt it was ice