Glass artist, sculptor, graphic artist, exhibition architect and industrial designer Tapio Wirkkala studied sculpture at the Academy of Industrial Arts (now Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture) in Helsinki between 1933 and 1936. Wirkkala is most known for his time at Iittala, where he worked beginning in 1946. Wirkkala’s most famous work is the vase Kantarell, which was created in 1946 and remained in production from 1947 through 1960.
During the 1950s, Wirkkala’s abstract plates and sculptures cut from glued veneers attracted great attention. Wirkkala is considered to be one of Finland’s greatest post-World War II designers and his international career began in 1951 at La Triennale di Milano, for which he was the architect of the Finnish pavilion.