The Iittala Story
In 1881, a small glass factory was founded in the little town of Iittala, Finland. Its blown, pressed, polished, painted and etched glass was high quality...but, at least from a design perspective, not highly original. That all changed during the modernism period of the 1930s and 40s, when famed Finnish designers Alvar Aalto and Kaj Franck became involved in Iittala glassware design. From there, Iittala made the permanent transition from ornate dinner sets to simplified and functional--yet still highly beautiful--glasses, dinnerware, cookware, vases and other decorative home accessories.
Why We Love Iittala
Embracing the boundary-pushing design philosophies of Aino and Alvar Aalto and Kaj Franck has kept Iittala on the cutting edge of Scandinavian glassware production since the 1930s. This has included expanding material offerings from just glass to porcelain, wood, stainless steel and cast iron. Iittala designers work in close collaboration with glass blowers and other craftspeople to create pieces of unequaled quality and inventiveness. While certainly high design items ideal for formal occasions, Iittala pieces are also unfussy, functional and fun, making them more than suitable for everyday use.
A Fun Fact About Iittala
In order to create a single wavy Alvar Aalto vase, it takes a team of 7 skilled craftsmen, 12 work stages, 1100 degrees Celsius and 30 hours to take it through all the needed steps of production.
Noteworthy Products By Iittala
Iittala's successful expansion into materials beyond glass is ideally exemplified by the Collective Tools collection. Designed by Antonio Citterio, this array of stainless steel utensils is sleek and functional and--despite the fact that Citterio is Italian--a lovely representation of modern Scandinavian design.