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Gunnel Nyman (1909-1948)

Nuutajarvi glassworks has produced artistic glass since 1753, the year of its foundation. But the manufacture of modern glass did not begin until 1942 when Gunnel, one of Finlands most original artists was employed as a designer for the factory. Together with another famous Finnish designer - -Arttu Brummer, she was long responsible for the glass design in Finland.
The quality of light as embodied in glass was a major interest for Nyman. She was also fascinated by the instantaneous solidification of the liquid glass mass. She considered material an essential factor in design, to a point that, in her opinion, each object had only one material that it could be made from. Form, proportion and decoration were only there to enhance the properties inherent in the material. Nyman began designing bubbled glass objects in the early 1930s. At that time, she used, as in by chance, bubbles as an element contained in the glass mass, whereas here designs from the late 1940s had small even-sized bubbles form a beautiful veil on the outer or inner surface of objects.
- The most intense period of Nymans creativity timed within the two years just prior to her death.
In the 1950s and '60s, the concept of Finnish Design won world wide fame. The breakthrough came at the Milan Triennial in 1951, when Finland was awarded 8 Grand Prix prizes, 4 honourable mentions, 7 gold medals and 8 silver medals. Such names as Gunnel Nyman (she was awarded gold medal for glass posthumously), Kaj Franck, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva were on everybodys lips. Although Gunnel Nymans career cut short by an untimely death, she had time enough to give a new direction to Finnish glass design. Her work foreshadowed the work of the 1950s and 1960s Finnish glass designers.

Information: 'Gunnel Nyman'. The bulletin of the Finnish Glass Museum 'Glassresearch IV', 1987

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