About Tapio Wirkkala

A leading figure of Post-war European design, Finnish designer and sculptor Tapio Wirkkala’s far-reaching career spans multiple fields, from jewelry, product, and furniture design to sculpture and other art objects. A versatile artist and designer, he created products from glass, wood, porcelain, metal, and plastics, made gorgeous abstract sculptures, and worked in exhibition and graphic design. His work with plywood asserted him as one of the pioneers of the Finnish Modernism movement in sculpture, using a traditional Finnish carving knife to begin his design process. Some of his most notable works include Finland’s banknotes that were introduced in 1955 and remained in circulation until 1981. He also famously designed the Finlandia vodka bottle and Iittala’s Ultima Thule set of kitchen glasses.

Finnish, 1915-1985