During Helsinki Design Week 2022, Iittala presents an exhibition called “In line with Inga Sempé” in Design Lab Gallery in Iittala & Arabia Design Centre in Helsinki, Finland. As a new Iittala designer Sempé draws a line between art, craft & industry - to the whole world of making an object. The exhibition is open from Sept 2nd 2022 until Feb 5th 2023.
2.9.2022 - 19.2.2023
In Line with Inga Sempé
"I like objects to be happy, light and easy to use. It's something that I think we need as life is not always happy and light”, says Sempé.
The exhibition is inspired by Inga Sempé’s Filigraani collection for Iittala, launched in 2022. The collection has tactile elements, fresh patterns and cool colour accents. Linear patterns, colours and happiness being the connection between different typologies. Objects are easy to use and practical. Its filigree glass art objects embody the masterful expertise and craftsmanship of the Iittala Glass Factory in Finland. In addition to the filigree glass items the collection includes glass photo frames, duvet cover sets and cushion covers.
“I wanted them to be precise, sharp as glass allows it, refined. It is also what I tried for the linen with a precise pattern, like the structure of a material seen from a microscope. Refined but not hard, smooth, soft for a daily use”, says Inga Sempé.
Timeless, not minimalistic
Sempé’s visual world consists of e.g. daily life, light, sun faded colours, easy and simple mechanics and refined shapes. Her style is timeless and simple, yet not minimalistic.
She has an impeccable eye for colour and an exquisite way to use patterns and shapes. Her designs often feature distinctive, imaginative elements that catch the eye and make the viewer curious to look closer, to touch and to experience the items.
In line with Inga Sempé
The exhibition shows the design process behind Sempé’s Filigraani collection. It also shows Sempé’s visual world through her other designs from previous years. She is presented as a multidisciplinary designer who moves from one material to another while keeping the lightness, so typical for her design.
The sketches for the Filigraani items are also put on display. Sempé’s design process always starts with drawing a number of sketches to get the right direction for the design.
As the actual making of the glass items was such a crucial part of the design process, there are also tools and materials used for the filigree glass in the Iittala glass factory on display. Sempé was very excited to get to know the master glass blowers, who have the skills for the exquisite craftsmanship.
“I was excited about the magical lines floating into glass, and how it is possible to understand how it is done. This magic still exists after I got to know how it is made a long time ago. The precision or the lines reminds me of drawings on insects or birds. Incredibly detailed and refined”, Sempé describes.
The exhibition film presents Sempé as a designer and we can see Sempé working in her studio in Paris, and a glimpse of her daily life in the metropole.
“I find happiness from a walk in Paris, with a friend, even in the wintertime. I like visiting unknown neighborhoods, as a tourist in my own home town”.
The Filigraani collection for Iittala
The colourful collection is inspired by the endless magic and exquisite essence of the filigree glass, a technique born in Murano, Venice, in the 16th century. It came to Finland, to the Nuutajärvi glass factory in the 1850’s. From Nuutajärvi the technique came later to the Iittala glass factory.
The three filigree art glass items in the Filigraani collection, two bowls and one platter, are unique works of art and true examples of Iittala Glass Factory's expertise and craftsmanship in glass and glass colours. The handmade and free-blown items can only be made by the most skilled and experienced glassblowers in the factory.
The collection's freestanding glass photo frames are perfect for displaying beloved memories with photos, postcards or art. The frames come in four sizes and are made of premium optical glass and have a coloured steel back plate.
The collection's textiles include jacquard woven decorative cushion covers and premium duvet cover sets. The small, delicate pattern in the textiles has a gentle rhythm: the dense grid is softened with small curves, that seem to climb from one line to another.