Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985)
Craftsman and Designer of glass, ceramics, metal, wooden objects, lighting, furniture, appliances, graphics, and exhibitions

Tapio Wirkkala was Finland's most versatile and influential designer in the second half of the twentieth century, evoking a national identity in his work by drawing on the materials and processes of Finnish handicraft and
naturalistic forms.
Educated at the Central School of Industrial Arts in Helsinki (1933-36), where he was later artistic
director (1951-54),Wirkkala became glass designer for Iittala after sharing First Prize with Kaj Franck in a competition organized by the glassworks.
In the late 1940s and 1950s he achieved
international recognition with his Kantarelli (Chanterelle) glasses and laminated wooden dishes, as well as for his role as designer and commissioner of the Finnish sections at the IX and X Triennale exhibitions in Milan in 1951 and 1954.

He was awarded three Grand Prizes at each exhibition - for exhibition design, glass, and
wood carving in 1951, and glass, sculpture, and exhibition design in 1954. The exhibitions brought Wirkkala various commissions - from Raymond Loewy; from the Rosenthal porcelain factory; from Venini; from the Finnish lighting firm Airam, for whom Wirkkala designed opalescent
glass bulbs; and from Hackman, for whom Wirkkala designed the traditional Finnish puukko knife.
Represented: Victoria & Albert Museum London, Design Museum Helsinki, Rohska Museum, Goteborg, museums of Faenza, Amsterdam, Trondheim.
Wirkkala has represented Finland at numerous domestic and foreign design exhibitions, and rewarded numerous prizes and citations both home and abroad.

Information, reference book: Kaj Kalin:
"Tapio Wirkkala - eye, hand and thought"

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