Inspired by the mushroom, Tapio Wirkkala’s Chantarelle vase is one of the greatest pieces of Scandinavian design. Created in 1947, it won the prestigious Grand Prix at the 1951 Milan Triennial. It is a careful balance between function and sculpture, with the incised repetitive lines in the body and the undulating lip creating a dynamic form. A sculptor and woodcarver, Wirkkala’s designs reflect his passion for the natural forms found in his native Finnish landscape. The Chantarelle is a strikingly elegant piece of art glass that is mouth-blown using the wheel-engraved technique.

Iittala Designer Tapio Wirkkala


Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985) was a multitalented design genius, widely considered a leading figure of modern Finnish industrial art. Wirkkala's wide ranging portfolio spans from glass, furniture and product design to sculpture, city planning, art, graphics and even creating banknotes for the Finnish treasury. Throughout his incredibly productive career, Wirkkala received numerous awards including three gold medals at the Milan Triennale, the Lunning Prize, Pro Finlandia Medal and the Prince Eugen Medal.

In 1946, Wirkkala won his first design award in a competition sponsored by Iittala that would mark a lifelong relationship with lasting effects on his career and the company. As Iittala’s artistic director, Wirkkala’s unique artistic vision helped establish the company’s global reputation. Throughout his legendary career, the uniquely talented artist created more than four hundred glass objects for Iittala, many of which, like the Ultima Thule and Tapio series remain popular today.