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Scandinavian Glass

This area will cover Riihimaki founded in 1910 Finland’s biggest glass manufacturer from the 1920’s until the 70’s. Renamed Riihimaen Lasi Oy. Chief Designers included Helena Tynell (in 1946), Nanny Still (in 1949), and Tamara Aladin (in 1959).

These designers pushed the boundaries using every glass-forming technique, including mould-blowing, pressing, centrifugal-casting, and casing, as well as adding some fabulous decorative details by cutting, engraving, sand blasting and polishing. The factory closed in 1990 with no new peices coming onto the market.

Helena Tynell. (b 1918) (Hired 1946) Notable forms from this prolific designer include “Aitanlukko”, “Emma”, “Fossill”, “Pironki”, “Corona” and “Venturi”. Also “Busy Lizzy”, “Old Manor”, and “Lock” (all 1967).

Nanny Still. (b1926) (Hired 1949) Included pressed and ribbed “Viru” (1955), “Harlekini” tableware with spherical and conical forms (1958). “Ametisti” angular hourglass decanters (1961), and the octagonal, prismatic-cut, clear-over-deep blue (or green) cased “Turmaliini” vase (1965). Textured designs such as the lumpy “Fantasma” vessells (1967-8), the bubbled “Grappo” (1967) and “Grapponia” tableware (1970), the pitted “Rusticana” range (1968), and the rough-ribbed “Tupru” tableware (1975).

Tamara Aladin. (1932) (Hired 1959) Tamara’s mould-blown designs included various flanged vases (1960’s), and the “Koralli” range of cylindrical vases with streaked and speckled colouring (1970’s).

Aimo Okkolin. (1917-1982). (Hired 1937) Look espically for stylised floral designs, such as “Iris” (1958) and “Water Lily” (1960).

Erkkitapio Siiroinen. (1944-1996). (Hired 1968) Notable designs include pimple-patterned “Barokki” bowls (late’ 60’s), mould-blown “Kasperi” tableware with floral motifs (c1970), and grainy textured “Pub” drinking glasses (late 1970’s).

Distinguishing marks – most are unmarked, but engraved either with “Riihimaen Lasi oy” or “Oy Riihimaki”. Sometimes the designer’s name is also present with a date. With pieces produced from the early 1960’s onwards you may come across any of three styles of label-logo: a lynx standing with a raised paw about the word “Riihimaki” (c1950’s and 60’s), an animal paw print above “Riihimaen/lasi” (c1970’s), or “Riihimaki” above a lynx over the word “Finland”, all within a heart shape (c1980’s).

Flygsfors glassworks in Sweden’s Smaland district was originally founded in 1888. In 1949 the artist Paul Kedelv was recruited who had worked at Orrefors from 1937 to 1946 before studing at the Konstfackskolen in Stockholm where he was taught by Edvin Ohrstorm. After a brief period at Nuutajarvi in 1948, he joined Flygsfors in 1949 and stayed until 1956.

He is best known for his Coquille range of dynamics free form vases and bowls with exaggerated pulled rims and sculptural freeforms loosely inspired by shells. Coquille range launched in 1952 was so popular that it remained in production until well into the 1960’s and was exported throughout Europe and America.

Paul kedelv who was borned 1917 worked for Reijmyre between 1956 to 1978 and previously worked at Flygsfors created more than 1100 designs during his time at Reijmyre. Reijmyre was taken over by the Goldsmith GAB in 1975, and three years later it was sold to Upsala Ekeby. Since 1981 the firm has changed hands several times.

Ekenas founded in Sweden in 1917 by former Orrefors workers, purchased by Sven Westberg in 1922 for 40 years who hired talented designers including sculptor John-Orwar Lake who served as chief designer and art director from 1953 to 1976 after leaving Arabia in Finland. Lake was an influential maker, stockholm trained part sculptor and teacher. One of Lakes notable students was Geoffrey Baxter of Whitefriars fame.