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Toikka Glass Birds


Toikka Sky Curlew

Toikka Red CardinalSmall miracles. That is the only way to describe the glass bird collection from iittala of Toikka Mouthblown Glass Birds, Professor Oiva Toikka's surprising and bold glass art deviates from the streamlined aesthetic of Nordic design.

Each bird is mouth-blown, and three to five craftsmen work on each bird as it is being produced resulting in each bird being one of a kind. The birds are constructed entirely of glass; their vivid colors come from the glass, not from paint. Oiva Toikka explores the opportunities offered by glass, exploiting the renowned iittala skill with color, and the transparency and opacity of glass. There is great virtuosity in the way filigree and filigree tape have been used to depict the bird's plumage. In his birds, Oiva Toikka uses glass like a painter uses his palette.

Sand, soda, lime and fire.  In the heart of the hot shop, in a fiery kiln, elements melt to create red-hot glass mass.  A skilled hand grabs a pipe, lifts a gather of glass out of the oven, and starts working on it:  calmly, phase by phase.  Twirl, lift, blow - a small miracle takes place:  the unique idea of an artist appears in the mass.  At the Iittala glass factory in Nuutajarvi, a millenia-old tradition of glassmaking is strongly alive.  This is the birthplace of Iittala's jewels - the glass birds

Professor Oiva Toikka is one of the great names of Finnish design. The Iittala Birds originated in 1972 with Toikka's small Flycatchers. Today the collection grows with collectors all over the world who enjoy these art objects as simple reminders of poetry in everyday life. These lyrical creatures are a feat of craftsmanship - each bird is as diverse and individual as those who collect them.

AOiva Toikka's imaginative, rich and bold glass art deviates from the streamlined aesthetic of Nordic design. He has worked in the performing arts for as long as he has in glass. The Birds collection is Toikka's best-known work. He has enjoyed an international career and received numerous awards, among them the Lunning Prize, Pro Finlandia Medal, World Glass Now 85 Award, Kaj Franck Design Prize and the Prince Eugen Medal.

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