Lectures & Seminars

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Meet the Artist: Oiva Toikka

April 6, 2006
Oiva Toikka - Bluebird

Designer Oiva Toikka is well known for the "Birds" series that he has designed for iittala, the internationally recognized Finnish glass company. First created in 1973, the "Birds" come in hundreds of types, shapes and sizes. One of Toikka's most recent designs is the New York state "Bluebird," which, for a limited time, will be sold exclusively in the GlassMarket.

When Toikka is asked why birds interest him, he refers to the fluid and lyrical shape of the bird, which adapts well to being formed from glass. The many colors available in glass suit the re-creation of the glorious colors of his living models.

Toikka, unlike many American studio glass artists, does not blow the glass himself. He makes his unique prototypes with skilled masters, who are able to duplicate his glassblowing techniques. All iittala glass birds are handcrafted and individually blown—no two are alike.

In addition to birds, Toikka has created many glass tableware collections and he has designed large glass sculptures. His imaginative, bold and colorful works are not typical of Scandinavian design, which usually features muted colors, limited decoration, and a streamlined Modernist aesthetic.

Toikka will discuss his past and future work in a lecture that will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the Museum's Hot Glass Show stage. The lecture will be followed by a sale in the GlassMarket of Toikka's iittala "Bluebird," and Toikka will be available to personally sign these works. Members will receive a 15% discount on the purchase of a Bluebird.