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DESIGNER: Oiva Toikka
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Q & A
New in 2004, design Oiva Toikka
iittala’s birds captivate the international markets with their beauty and craftsmanship. They are valued gifts, objets d’art for modern decoration. New releases are greatly anticipated. This year six new birds will join iittala’s collection.
In the past few years, the Birds have become iittala’s success story in the United States. This success was further accelerated by Professor Oiva Toikka’s spectacular glass art exhibition at the Finnish Embassy in Washington. The “Fallingwater Red” designed for the icon of architecture – Frank Lloyd Wright’s "Fallingwater" – has been extremely popular. The demanding Japanese public is ever more interested in iittala’s Birds and these works of art have numerous admirers in Central Europe as well. The 30th anniversary "Birds by Toikka" exhibition has toured Scandinavian museums for a few years.
iittala’s birds are born from the collaboration between their designer Professor Oiva Toikka and iittala’s glassblowers. Each bird is hand made, a skill which has been refined over the birds’ 30-year history at Finland’s oldest glass factory.
The original and authentic iittala birds have become the passion of many collectors. Toikka’s glass ornithology stems from his observations of nature, his inexhaustible knowledge about glass as well as his rich imagination.
Professor Oiva Toikka has been a glass designer since the 1960s. He has worked in theatre just as long – designing sets and costumes –and in the past few years has designed mostly for the Finnish National Opera. He has also worked as a glass and ceramic arts and design teacher in different parts of the world. A book (in English) on Oiva Toikka’s life’s work is due out this year.
Blue Scaup Duck – Annual Bird 2004
The colours of the new Annual Bird, the Blue Scaup Duck, are brilliant: amber-yellow and blue. Oiva Toikka’s limitless imagination and the skill of iittala’s glassblowers make the Blue Scaup Duck possible. Each bird is hand made and unique. The feathers are created by masterful ribbon filigreeing. A slight heart shape can be detected in the blue wings. The Blue Scaup Duck is truly tempting to collectors and an elegant gift idea for special occasions in 2004. The stylish wooden gift box complements this valuable gift.
Annual Egg 2004 – Blue Scaup Duck’s Egg
An Annual Egg related to the Annual Bird has already become a tradition. Only 750 numbered Blue Scaup Duck’s Eggs will be manufactured. The egg is 140mm tall and packed in the popular wooden gift box.
Small Gold Crests
Oiva Toikka’s Small Gold Crests are miniature works of art. Irresistibly cute, they are as small as matchboxes. These unique little birds are hand made. There are four colour options: shiny, smoke-black spotted, shiny lilac spotted as well as black and white spotted. The Small Gold Crest in its own nest – a transparent box – will make an impressive gift for anyone from godchild to business associate. Due to their light weight they are easy to carry even when travelling light.
Oiva Toikka and iittala’s glassblowers have employed bright colours when conjuring the Golden Oriole. The result is impressive, joyful and stylishly clear. Collectors of Toikka’s birds will be surprised once more. The bird measures 140 x 235mm.
Oiva Toikka’s Red Cardinal was born largely due to the requests of Toikka’s American fans. The bird is a spectacular red and its crest is of a slightly different red. The Red Cardinal is the state bird of Michigan but will surely delight any bird lovers or fans of the colour red. The glass reproduces this startling red in a unique way. The Red Cardinal measures 130 x 200mm.
Oiva Toikka has returned to his beloved owl theme. The newcomer is adorable: 105 x 75mm. Its sparkling metallic shine, i.e. its lustre, rounds out its colourful and elaborate feathering. It is difficult to resist its blue-eyed gaze.
The new Barnacle Goose is the largest and most valuable species in iittala’s current collection. It also poses a challenge to iittala’s glassblowers as it is the most difficult to make. A limited series of 2000 pieces – each one numbered – will be made. It will become another rarity for collectors to aspire after.