Designer: Oiva Toikka
Oiva Toikka is one of the greatest names in Finnish design. His
iconic collection of Iittala Birds by Toikka first took flight back in
1972 with the creation of his small glass Flycatchers. The collection
embodies a rich fusion of glassmaking traditions and would not have
been possible without Toikka’s hands-on-approach at the glassworks
and his keen understanding of each employee’s skills. Drawing from
nature and his passion for art glass, Toikka has created more than
four hundred birds in the last forty years.
Today, collecting Toikka birds has become an international activity with
collectors tracking down rarities and discussing favorites with the same
enthusiasm as their real-life equivalents in the ornithological world.
These lovely little creatures are individually mouth-blown making them a
unique treasure in homes, offices or any other space where they nest.
Toikka's visions are still brought to life by craftsmen at the Nuutajärvi factory in
Finland, where the Iittala glass workshops have always been located. Each bird is
signed "O. Toikka Nuutajärvi" as a proof of authenticity.
Birds by Toikka are individually handmade, mouth blown glass art objects. A
new bird has joined the collection annually since 1972. Like their counterparts
in nature, each unique bird has its own personality. The brilliant Red Cardinal
came about in large part because of American collectors' requests.
Dimensions: 5.25" x 8"
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.