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DESIGNER: Oiva Toikka
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Q & A
Iittala’s Nuutajärvi Glassworks Launches New Collection
Something very special takes place every day in the picturesque village of Nuutajärvi, Finland. For over 200 years master glassblowers have performed a magical choreography around a fiery oven. Their task is to produce complex works of artglass designed by some of the world’s most creative artists.
For the last 35 years Nuutajärvi glassblowers have collaborated with Finnish artist Oiva Toikka to produce the world renowned Birds by Toikka collection. Toikka and iittala fully appreciate the value of the Nuutajärvi glassblowers--a Finnish and international treasure, and decided it is time to add a new line to their repertoire.
Toikka and iittala’s selection of Giorgio Vigna as a new artist for Nuutajärvi is bold and exciting. Vigna has created a collection of birds which is very different from Toikka’s. Vigna’s collection is a highly contemporary artistic interpretation of the animal world, compact, linear sculptures.
Vigna uses multiple layers of glass to bring out the intensive effects of thick glass. Light plays on the polished surface and shines through the layers. These birds look compact but the many layers of glass make them surprisingly heavy.
The Vigna birds may be born in the hot shop but they mature in the finishing rooms. These designs require extensive cutting and polishing to produce the artist’s vision. There are many more time-intensive finishing steps requiring the skill of expert artisans. In contrast, most Toikka birds are complete when they leave the glassblowing area.
The 2007 Vigna collection includes three species: Circoli, Colori and Contrasti. Circoli have a single color on the surface, but the interweaving of opaque and transparent glass creates a gentle play of light and color. Colori birds play with different, refined colors. The airy inside calls in the light to shine in the spectrum of colors. Contrasti birds display the mysterious interplay of light and shade; strong contrasts are made by playing with transparent, opaque and black glass masses.
The Birds by Vigna collection is a magical new journey for the artisans at Nuutajärvi. How fortunate we are to be the recipients of their amazing works of artglass.