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Tapio Wirkkala

tapio wirkkala portrait

Born in 1915 in Hanko, Finland, Tapio Wirkkala was one of the country’s most prominent—and most versatile—designers of the 20th century. A sculptor and designer, he gained fame with his glass tableware for Iittala, which included his 1968 Ultima Thule collection, the manufacturing of which took thousands of hours to perfect the glass-blowing technique needed to create the illusion of melting icicles. Wirkkala also left his mark as a graphic designer on the Finnish banknotes and was the artistic director of the University of Arts and Design in Helsinki for many years. He died in 1985.


stellaria votive holder

Stellaria Votive Holder by Tapio Wirkkala

Another of Finland's 20th century design superstars, Tapio Wirkkala, designed everything from hunting knives to lightbulbs to land art monuments. Wirkkala often retreated to his Lapland cabin to hunt, fish, and live off the land, and much of his work reflects this deep understanding, appreciation, and awe of nature. This simple votive holder transforms your tabletop into a melting ice palace.

Iittala Tapio Rep May08


The design of this timeless piece feels considered, from the distribution of weight to the thickness of the glass.