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From glass and porcelain to toilets, labels and banknotes for the Finnish Treasury - Tapio Wirkkala displayed versatile design that crossed borders and materials. He is considered one of the great pioneers in Finnish design and several of his works have become symbols of Finnish modernism.
Tapio Wirkkala’s major breakthrough came after winning a design contest sponsored by Iittala in 1946. This awarded him both international attention and also a lifelong relationship with the Finnish glass industry. During his time at Iittala, he designed over 400 different items, including the classic glassware Ultima Thule and Gaissa.
Tapio Wirkkala felt a deep relationship with nature and his absolute favourite spot was located in Finland's deepest forests. From the beautiful landscape, Tapio Wirkkala could find inspiration for his works, often characterised by organic shapes. Leaves, birds, ice and water are recurring themes in his design.