An Experiment in Design Production: The Enduring Birds of Iittala 

September 25, 2013 - January 12, 2014

visitIn recognition of the 10 year anniversary of the glassblowing partnership between Museum of Glass and Finland’s Iittala, Inc., the 2013 exhibition An Experiment in Design Production: The Enduring Birds of Iittala paid special attention to the history of the Iittala glass factory in Nuutajärvi, Finland. Like other recent closures in Europe, such as the Waterford Crystal factory in Ireland, Nuutajärvi reached a point of no return and is likely to close its doors sometime in 2014. The exhibition ran through January 12, 2014.

Since 2003, factory glassblowers have come from the Finnish glass factory to the fine art setting of the Museum of Glass Hot Shop where one-of-a-kind replicas of commercial objects are made before an audience. As always, the partnership featured the design and production of an annual bird specifically for the Museum. A mated pair of resplendently colored wood ducks was selected as the focus of Iittala’s 2013 residency. 2013 was the first year that two birds, rather than one, were chosen.

Internationally recognized designer Professor Oiva Toikka has developed hundreds of species of birds for Iittala over the past 50 years. A display of these birds, along with rare prototypes and other specimens from the Museum’s collection and private collections, was on view in the Grand Hall.


Image credit: Birds by Toikka, Wood Ducks.

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