The Finnish glass design label Iittala is founded in 1881 by Petrus Magnus Abrahamsson, a Swedish glassblower. At that time, there were not enough Finnish glass blowers so he had to bring in his employees from Sweden. The first years of Iittala didn‚Äôt go too well, the company made a loss. When the company expanded and a second oven was built, Iittala made glassware for the pharmaceutical industry and household glass. Iittala spent a lot of time designing the products and this paid off, the company got the attention of customers. In 1903 Alfred Gustafsson made a popular series of glass and the company outsourced a lot of design work. In 1932 the Finnish designer G√∂ran Hongell started working for Iittala and he came up with the popular Aarne glasses. He is also seen as the founder of the combination between the design and the production of the Iittala glassware. Shortly after that the designer couple Alvar Aalto
and Aino Aalto start to work for Iittala and there is even more focus on design. Tapio Wirkkala
, Kaj Franck and other designers are given a free hand to design ornamental glass that is well received worldwide. Gradually, Iittala also starts producing ceramics and works with designers like Heikki Orvola, Oiva Toikka
, Valto Kokko, Bj√∂rn Dahlstr√∂m, Alfredo H√§berli, Timo Sarpaneva and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
At art auctions you regularly come across work by Iittala, sometimes the beautiful glass birds by Oiva Toikka, sometimes glassware and sometimes one of the timeless works of art by Alvar Aalto, Tapio Wirkkala or Kaj Franck.