Known as the conscience of Finnish design, Kaj Franck sought to remove all excess in his work, leaving only the essentials. Franck realized his goal in 1958 with the Kartio glass, perfectly capturing a balance between material and form. Now celebrating its 60th anniversary, the iconic Kartio is an example of enduring design.
The Kartio collection was originally produced at the Nuutajärvi glassworks. Franck initially intended Kartio to be produced in clear glass only, as most glassware at the time, but once the collection was launched also smoke grey and moss green were included. Kartio glasses were available in five different sizes, which were in production until 1975.
Kartio was reintroduced in 1993 as part of the Nuutajärvi glassworks 200th anniversary. The introduction of new manufacturing techniques and some changes in the glass mass had resulted in a wider range of colours becoming available. The colour palette also partly followed the options available on modern, fully automated production lines.
In 1993, Kartio glasses were available in three sizes: 7 cl, 21 cl and 35 cl. The production of the 7 cl schnapps glass ended in 2002. The shape of the large 35 cl glass was slightly changed in 2005, resulting in a form more in line with the smaller glass and closer to the original drawings by Kaj Franck. Also the size of the larger glass has since been increased slightly to 40 cl. The new form was approved by Professor Oiva Toikka, a lifelong supporter of Kaj Franck’s design heritage.
Kartio’s vast and dynamic colour palette perfectly represents Iittala’s expertise in coloured glass.
The collection is available in clear, aqua, light blue, rain, sea blue, sand, moss green, grey, emerald, water green and apple green. Colours, which are no longer in production, include ultramarine, brown, blue, light green, blueberry blue, water blue, blue turquoise, red, purple and olive green. Kartio is made in Finland.
Now in its 60th year, Kartio continues to perfectly complement other items in the Iittala collection with its genius design. With the simple and classic form, Kaj Franck created an icon that has truly stood the test of time.