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Posts Tagged ‘Tapio Wirkkala’

Plywood: Material, Process, Form at MoMA

“Plywood,” explained Popular Science in 1948, “is a layercake of lumber and glue.” In the history of design, plywood is also an important modern material that has given 20th-century designers of everyday objects, furniture, and even architecture greater flexibility in shaping modern forms at an industrial scale. This installation features examples, drawn from MoMA’s collection, of modern designs that take advantage of the formal and aesthetic possibilities offered by plywood, from around 1930 through the 1950s. Archival photographs illuminate the process of design and manufacture in plywood. Iconic furniture by Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen appear alongside Organic Platters by Tapio Wirkkala (1951), Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool (1956), an architectural model for a prefabricated house by Marcel Breuer (1943), and experimental designs for plywood in the aeronautics industry.

Plywood: Material, Process, Form, at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, Photography © Jason Mandella

Kaj Franck Table Remade by Matti Klenell

After a visit at the glass factory in the Nuutajärvi village in the middle of Finland, Swedish designer Matti Klenell found a very special design by Kaj Franck. It ended up with a personal interpretation of the table as a homage to the great Finnish designer.

“The Nuutajärvi village in the middle of Finland has one major industry and that is their famous glass factory. Over the years masters such as Tapio Wirkkala and Kaj Franck worked here as artistic leaders and much of their designs are still in production by Iittala who the factory now belongs to. In the 1970s Kaj Franck designed a small museum dedicated to glass in an old building that used to serve as a brewery. It’s a beautiful space with an almost mysterious aura. One of the items on display stayed in my mind long after paying my first visit. It was a low table with strange legs. On the table top there was a map showing the Nuutajärvi surroundings displayed under a glass surface and on top of that laid a thick piece of solid glass to use as a magnifying glass enabeling you to properly read all the details of the layout. I decided to design a remake of it. Something different but with an echo of what I remembered from the museum. My table is made of solid ash wood and the top is an engraved glass sheet. The detailed drawing is based on various sketches I made during the project and took me four days to engrave.”
- Matti Klenell

Exhibition: Kokeshi, at Galleri IngerMolin, Stockholm, Sweden, September 24 – October 10
Photos 1-3 © Jason Strong Photography, via: David Report

Exhibition: Plywood: Material, Process, Form

Lounge Chair. c. 1944. All rights reserved, Charles Eames and Ray Eames, 2011, United States. Molded plywood and steel rod, 28 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 30″ (73 x 76.5 x 76.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designers, 1973.

Butterfly Stools. 1956. All rights reserved, Sori Yanagi, 2011, United States. Molded plywood and metal, 15 1/2 x 17 3/8 x 12 1/8″ (39.4 x 44.1 x 30.8 cm). Manufactured by Tendo Co., Ltd., Tokyo. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer, 1958.

Lounge Chair. 1934. All rights reserved, Gerald Summers, 2011, United States. Bent birch plywood with pigmented lacquer, 29 5/8 x 23 1/2 x 35″ (75.2 x 59.7 x 88.9 cm). Manufactured by Makers of Simple Furniture, Ltd., London. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Barbara Jakobson Purchase Fund and Peter Norton Purchase Fund and Gift of Robert and Joyce Menschel, 2000.

“Plywood,” explained Popular Science in 1948, “is a layercake of lumber and glue.” In the history of design, plywood is also an important modern material that has given 20th-century designers of everyday objects, furniture, and even architecture greater flexibility in shaping modern forms at an industrial scale. This installation features examples, drawn from MoMA’s collection, of modern designs that take advantage of the formal and aesthetic possibilities offered by plywood, from around 1930 through the 1950s. Archival photographs illuminate the process of design and manufacture in plywood. Iconic furniture by Alvar Aalto, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen appear alongside Organic Platters by Tapio Wirkkala (1951), Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool (1956), an architectural model for a prefabricated house by Marcel Breuer (1943), and experimental designs for plywood in the aeronautics industry.

Exhibition: Plywood: Material, Process, Form, February 2 – Ongoing, at MoMA, New York

Icon: Bolle Bottles by Tapio Wirkkala

Tapio Wirkkala is best known for designing the original Finlandia Vodka bottle, inspired by the elements in his native Finland. This series of five bottles in Murano glass, employs the “Incalmo” technique where two different types of glass, worked separately, are fused together.

Bolle Bottles, 1968, by Tapio Wirkkala, for Venini

Iittala Glassware by Tapio Wirkkala

Tapio Wirkkala is best known for designing the original Finlandia Vodka bottle, inspired by the elements in his native Finland. These fine examples of glassware from the period are up for auction at the upcoming Modern Design event on 24 March.

top: Inari bowl, model 3543, Made by Iittala, 1967, Estimate: $2,000–3,000
bottom: Alpina vase, model 3570, Made by Iittala 1966, Estimate: $1,000–1,500
Glassware by Tapio Wirkkala, Auction at Wright

Icon: Tapio Wirkkala Platter

Platter, Tapio Wirkkala, Finland, 1951, laminated birch, teak 
19 x 9 7/8 x 1″ (48.3 x 25.1 x 2.5 cm). Manufactured (not in production) by Tapio Wirkkala

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