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When the ice starts to melt after a long winter, it draws its ebb and flow across the snow-covered land. Inspired by the melting ice of the far north in Lapland, Ultima Thule is design legend Tapio Wirkkala’s most famous work. It is the epitome of Nordic craftsmanship — the result of thousands of hours spent perfecting the glassblowing technique required to produce its signature undulations. It carries within it both the light and the shadows of untamed wilderness.
Wirkkala’s technique at the glass factory was characterised by a strong sense of craftsmanship that kept with the approach of the great masters of his time: he worked closely with glassblowers to discover the best technical methods for making his objects. This teamwork gave rise to new surface patterns, which are exemplified in Ultima Thule, a series of glassware from 1968 with a distinctly Arctic feel. Finnish nature—one of Wirkkala’s most important sources of inspiration—makes its presence felt in Ultima Thule.
Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) was a multitalented design genius, widely considered a leading figure of modern Finnish industrial art. Wirkkala's wide ranging portfolio spans from glass, furniture and product design to sculpture, city planning, art, graphics and even creating banknotes for the Finnish treasury. As his reputation grew internationally, Wirkala exhibited throughout the world but he was a recluse by nature. His favorite place was a spot so remote within the deep woodlands of middle Finland that helicopters delivered prototypes to his hut since no car could reach him. It was in nature that he found his much loved solitude and the inspiration for forms that industry could produce or artwork could create. Throughout his incredibly productive career, Wirkkala received numerous awards including three gold medals at the Milan Triennale, the Lunning Prize, Pro Finlandia Medal and the Prince Eugen Medal.
In 1946, Wirkkala won his first design award in a competition sponsored by Iittala that would mark a lifelong relationship with lasting effects on his career and the company. As Iittala’s artistic director, Wirkkala’s unique artistic vision helped establish the company’s global reputation. Throughout his legendary career, the uniquely talented artist created more than four hundred glass objects for Iittala, many of which, like the Ultima Thule and Tapio series remain popular today.
|Weight||572 g (without packaging)|