The collection
Cylindrical vase of textured glass with bumps and wide flared opening at the top.

Vase, Finlandia

Designed by
Timo Sarpeneva (1926–2006)
Mold-blown glass
Produced by
Iittala Lasitehdas, Iittala, Finland
28.2 x 23.5 x 12.5 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, 2002.82

Finnish designer and sculptor Timo Sarpaneva worked in many media, and he was best known for his innovative designs in glass, which were both utilitarian and artistic. International exhibits of his work helped to elevate Finland’s design reputation worldwide.

Through his long association with Iittala, he worked to establish its corporate identity through both graphic design for the company and product design. In 1963 and 1964, he used discarded, charred wooden molds to create textured glass, as seen in his Finlandia range of vessels for industrial production, including this vase. The aesthetic is in keeping with Scandinavian design’s association with nature as inspiration—natural materials, especially beautiful wood, rather than industrial materials.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.