Wirkkala is known as the multi-talented genius of Finnish design, the Philippe Starck of his generation. His scope extended from glassware to bank note design and utility graphics. He was one of the most acclaimed of the Finnish designers in the Milan triennale in the post war years and is perhaps best recognised for his inspiration taken from nature. Where his designs for iittala are instantly recognisable, not so well known are his many creations in porcelain and stainless steel for the German company Rosenthal Studio Line.
In honour of Helsinki being the 2012 capital of design many of these designs have now been reissued for 2012 only, including these Spot Relief vases which explore the tactile nature of the material with their raised texture and use of glazed and unglazed high fired porcelain.
Spot Relief vases: 20cm £116, 24cm £161, 18cm £89 and Tapio birds: 22cm or 38cm
in black or white from £53 to £188
Pollo vases: 8cm, 10cm & 20cm in black or white from £53 to £242
‘Spot Relief’ vases by Wirkkala, available only in white.
‘Pollo’ bud vases by Wirkkala, available in black and white.
‘Tapio’ bird sculptures by Wirkkala, available in black and white.
About Finnish Design and Rosenthal
Great design has often originated from places where the winters are long and cold and the summers short. “If you are in the isolation of Lapland and need a spoon, you can’t just buy one at the local shop. You carve yourself one from wood. It’s then that you realise what really matters and learn to differentiate between the essential and the superfluous”, said the Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala once about his work. Many generations of designers have worked with the tried-and-tested Scandinavian formula: Material + Form + Colour = Effect.
The “Scandinavian Style” experienced its first major breakthrough at the 2nd Triennale in Milan in 1951. It is inspired by the Bauhaus tradition, reflecting both the concepts as well as the intellectual stance of the 1920s and 1930s in a modified way and is defined by simple, clear and functional forms. The material’s characteristics are emphasised and the technical treatment becomes clearly visible. At the same time, the forms and lines remain soft and sensitive.
At about the same time Philip Rosenthal enthused about Scandinavian – and especially Finnish – design. The two Finns Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva become particularly influential. Wirkkala presents his first service for Rosenthal – “Variation” – in 1962, which is to be followed by further designs. It is Wirkkala who combines the materials porcelain and metal for Rosenthal for the first time in 1963. Timo Sarpaneva becomes famous for his soft, organic forms which he derives from the natural materials in his Finnish home country. Sarpaneva’s most successful design is the “Suomi” service dating from 1976.
In 2012 Rosenthal honours the world capital of design, Helsinki, with a homage to Finnish design. The Finnish capital was voted to the “World Design Capital 2012″ by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. The city is the third to be awarded this title following Turin and Seoul. Design is an integral and not to be overlooked part of the economic, cultural and public life in Helsinki. Architectural design highlights are the works of the famous Alvar Aalto, for example the Finlandia Hall or the Technical University. The Design District is located in the heart of the city, the ideal place to experience the Finnish design culture live.
Rosenthal has released a Finland collection with works by Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva that is limited to the year 2012, all available fromVessel Gallery. Contact us to receive full catalogue: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 207 727 8001