Iittala Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule

Inspired by the melting ice in Lapland, the Ultima Thule is design legend Tapio Wirkkala’s most famous work. Wirkkala originally created the surface of Ultima Thule in the 1960s after carving into a graphic mold. Ultima Thule is an exclusive design which reflects the thousands of hours spent perfecting the glass-blowing technique required to produce the effect.



The ultimate Ultima Thule

Ultima Thule was named after the ancient myth of an ice-covered island located far north beyond the borders of the known world.
Iittala Ultima Thule collection Plate and tumblers

Travel to the far north

When the ice starts to melt after a long winter, it draws its ebb and flow across the snow-covered land. Inspired by the melting ice of the far north in Lapland, Ultima Thule is Tapio Wirkkala’s most famous work. It is the epitome of Nordic craftsmanship — the result of thousands of hours spent perfecting the glassblowing technique required to produce its signature undulations. It carries within it both the light and the shadows of untamed wilderness.

Iittala Ultima Thule collection Plate

Perfected technique

Wirkkala’s technique at the glass factory was characterised by a strong sense of craftsmanship that kept with the approach of the great masters of his time: he worked closely with glassblowers to discover the best technical methods for making his objects. This teamwork gave rise to new surface patterns, which are exemplified in Ultima Thule, a series of glassware from 1968 with a distinctly Arctic feel. Finnish nature—one of Wirkkala’s most important sources of inspiration—makes its presence felt in Ultima Thule.