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.

There’s more about Tapio Wirkkala elsewhere in Virtual Finland*, at Finnish Design and at Wikipedia.

Added Dec.6th: Today is Finland’s 91st Independence Day! I will place two candles in the window and light them at dusk. Hyvää itsenäisyyspäivää to Finland and my Finnish readers!

*Sadly, the Virtual Finland site no longer exists so links have been removed.

December 5, 2008 in Culture, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Other artists by Marja-Leena