Tapio Wirkkala, Finnish designer
Go fetch yourself a cup of your favourite brew, sit down and watch this gorgeous 16 minute video on Tapio Wirkkala, in English and some Finnish. Virtual Finland presents him as "a father figure of Finnish applied art who merged form and function in a dialogue between thought, hand, eye and material." He is an amazing artist whose name and work, to me, is synonymous with Finland.
I'm proud to own a few pieces of his, such as some Tapio glasses and Ultima Thule (ice) bowls. I'm also particularly fond of the name Tapio (pronounced TUP-e-o), the name of my brother and the name of a pagan Finnish god of the forest. As you will see in this video, that name was significant for Wirkkala as well, who found nature especially in Finnish Lapland was a profound source of inspiration as well as solace and strength.