Design Icon - The Iittala Savoy Vase By Alvar Aalto

The Iittala Savoy vase is possibly the most iconic vase of the modern era and today it is known simply by the name of its creator, Finnish architect Alvar Aalto.
The Aalto vase is a timeless piece of design that has been around for well over 70 years. That distinctive Aalto form is instantly recognizable, greatly cherished and surprisingly practical in many ways, ranging from fruit bowl, to ice bucket and even as a vase...
The true inspiration behind this legendary shape is somewhat vague and ambiguous. Theories range from the more obvious world of modernist abstract painting and sculpture, through to more abstract references to the shorelines of Finland's fjords, or the captivating shape of a puddle.
The design first appeared as part of a homewares collection that Aalto submitted to the Karhula-Iittala design competition in 1936 and it then made its international debut at the 1937 World Fair in Paris. It was presented under the eye-catching title of The Eskimo Woman's Leather Breeches, which either leads to another sphere of influence, or reveals that Aalto was creating a sense of fun with the design, depending upon your viewpoint.
It would later become known as the Savoy vase, after the name of a new luxury restaurant in Helsinki that opened in 1937. Alvar Aalto together with his wife Aino and designed custom furnishings and fixtures and the organically shaped vase took pride of place.
The beautiful free-form lines of this stunning vase still look as fresh and contemporary today, as they did back in the thirties. In many ways, it contains the quintessential qualities of Finnish design: originality, straightforwardness, and aesthetic sophistication.
That graceful and enigmatic form proved a challenge to the glassblowers who developed the process at Iittala and today each piece is still mouth-blown and hand-polished. The whole process has many critical points requiring skilled input from every member of the six-person team. Originally a wooden mould was used to create that fabulous form and today although more accurate steel moulds are used each piece is still a unique creation by skilled artisans.
Originally the Aalto vase was produced in five colours and these days Iittala produces new colours annually, ranging from the outstanding 70th anniversary special White-Red and White-Blue vases, to the magnificent Flaming Red vase. The clear glass Aalto vase retains a loyal following from interior designers and architects with those iconic looks and adaptable form. Worldwide demand for Aalto's iconic vase has contributed to the success of the renowned Iittala glassworks.
Apparently, Aalto added to the enigmatic quality of the Savoy vase by never demonstrating how his glass designs should be used, instead he wanted the user to decide. This is an interesting perspective that offers a freedom of expression and imagination to every owner. Alternatively, he may have acted in this manner because he wasn't very good at flower arranging?...

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment