Iittala (Biographical details)

Iittala (manufacturer/factory; Finnish; 1881; active)

Also known as

Iittala; Karhula-Iittala; Iittala-Nuutajärvi Oy; Hackman Iittala Oy Ab

Address

Iittala Lasi, SF-14500 Iittala, Finland

Biography

Glassworks in Finland. Founded 1881 by Swedish-born P.M. Abrahamsson in the village of Iittala. In 1917 it was bought by the Finnish wood processing firm A. Ahlström Oy, which already owned the Karhula glassworks. Iittala remained a separate entity until 1935 when it merged with Karhula (founded 1889) as Karhula-Iittala, the name by which it was known until the early 1960s. In 1946 a decision was made to promote innovation in glass with a competition for engraved glassware, won by Tapio Wirkkala (qv) and Kaj Franck (qv). Both were subsequently employed by Iittala as designers, while Timo Sarpaneva joined the firm in 1951. Won great acclaim internationally at the Milan Triennales in the1950s with result that Iittala's designers and products became symbols of Finnishness. In 1988 it became Iittala-Nuutajärvi Oy, and 1991 was sold to Hackman Ab, and the name changed to Hackman Iittala Oy Ab, which by this time also incorporated the ceramics firms Arabia and Hackman Rörstrand. In 1994 Iittala became part of the Hackman Designor division, which in 2003 was renamed Iittala Group. In 2004 the Hackman Group, including Iittala, was taken over by the Italian company Ali SpA, passing in 2005 to the Dutch company ABN AMRO1Capital.

Bibliography

Lesley Jackson, '20th Century Factory Glass' (2000)
Marianne Aav and Eeva Viljanen (eds), 'Iittala. 125 Years of Finnish Glass', Design Museum, Helsinki, 2006