Designer: Alvar Aalto for Iittala, 1937
Legendary shape. Alvar Aalto created the Aalto vase in various
shapes, sizes and colors for Iittala and the World Fair in Paris in 1937. As
is typical with a great work of art, the shape has been reinterpreted ever
since. Alvar Aalto would never demonstrate how his glass objects should
be used, but wanted the user to decide. This freedom to interpret the
origins and function may be what has helped keep the Aalto collection so
contemporary and fresh. Pieces can be displayed as a group or as a single,
exclusive work of art, a pleasure to own or to give as a present.
The Aalto vase has become one of the world's most famous glass objects,
deservedly synonymous with Finnish glass art and with Iittala. It is
exhibited in some of the world's most important design museums.
DIMENSIONS - SMALL VASE:
4.5w x 3.5d x 3.75h (inches)
Pioneers of beauty and function
The roots of Iittala date back to 1881 when a glass factory was established in a village of the same name in
southern Finland. In its early years Iittala produced blown, pressed, polished, painted and etched glass
according to continental models.
The breakthrough came in the early years of modernism and functionalism during the 1930s and 40s. At that time
it was pioneers like Alvar Aalto, Aino Aalto and Kaj Franck who led the development of the Iittala brand. Their
belief was that objects should always be designed with thought and make them available for everyone. It was Aalto's
and Franck's thinking that set the foundation for the Iittala design philosophy: to push the boundaries and to
give people beauty and function.
This breakthrough in Finnish design, also changed glassware ranges led by Iittala in the 1950s and 1960s. A new
kind of aesthetics and functionality affected Finnish glassware design while most other countries still used traditional,
extensive glassware ranges. A simplified, modern design took over from cut crystal.
The core idea behind Iittala is to offer aesthetically and functionally durable products that bring enjoyment and
pleasure to everyday life, whether it is about dining, creating a mood or storing small items at home.
All Iittala objects are thought through in form, function and quality. All aim to achieve long-lasting everyday
use and inspiration. Iittala objects are designed to be combined, with different designs across series, as well as
with existing home environments.
Iittala believes that people have the right to expect the design they buy to last a lifetime. They see that the world is
becoming more and more aware of the value of long-lasting design. Quality never goes out of fashion. The effort put into
quality design has paid off: the Iittala collection includes not only new design but also items that have been around for more than 80 years.