Two Riihimäen Lasi Oy vases
Two Riihimäen Lasi Oy vases

The Legacy of Riihimäen Lasi Oy: A Beacon of Finnish Design

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Two vases designed by Tamara Aladin for Riihmaen Lasi Finland c1970s. These vases are heavily cased, blue and purple in colour and come complete with original label has sandblasted Riihmaen Lasi Oy Finland, lynx mark in a circle and the shape number 1365 etched on the base. Origin: a small flea market in South Britain (France)

Introduction to Riihimäen Lasi Oy

Founded in 1910 by Mikko Adolf Kolehmainen in Riihimäki, Finland, Riihimäen Lasi Oy quickly established itself as a cornerstone of Finnish glassmaking. Operating until 1990, the factory became synonymous with innovative design, quality craftsmanship and the quintessential simplicity of Scandinavian aesthetics. Today its creations are celebrated by collectors and design aficionados around the world, embodying the spirit of an era that revolutionised the glassmaking industry.

Design philosophy and innovation

Riihimäen Lasi Oy was at the forefront of the Scandinavian design movement of the mid-20th century, championing durability and functionality against the “throwawayism” prevalent at the time. Designers such as Tamara Aladin, Helena Tynell and Erkkitapio Siiroinen, who worked with the company, were instrumental in developing its distinctive style. Inspired by the Nordic landscape, they created glass pieces that mimicked ice, frost and bark textures, as well as creations that featured pared-down designs with smooth surfaces and cool colours.

Iconic creations and designers

Among the most sought-after pieces are the heavy-cased vases, particularly in blue and purple, designed by Tamara Aladin in the 1970s. These vases, complete with original labels and etchings such as the sandblasted lynx mark of Riihmaen Lasi Oy Finland, are prized for their beauty and collectability. Aladin’s work, along with that of her peers, has brought international fame to Riihimäen Lasi Oy, whose creations can now be found in collections and exhibitions, including the Finnish Glass Museum.

The Finnish Glass Museum: Preserving heritage

The Finnish Glass Museum, housed in a building that once belonged to Riihimäen Lasi Oy, offers a comprehensive overview of the development of the glass industry in Finland. With pieces dating back more than 4,000 years, the museum highlights Riihimäen Lasi Oy’s contributions to the Finnish and world glass scene. It serves as a testament to the artistic and functional legacy of the company and its designers.

The enduring legacy of Riihimäen Lasi Oy

Although Riihimäen Lasi Oy ceased operations in 1990, its influence on design and craftsmanship continues to resonate. The factory’s commitment to quality, combined with its innovative approach to glassmaking, has left an indelible mark on the industry. Collectors and design enthusiasts continue to seek out Riihimäen Lasi Oy’s pieces, drawn by their historical significance and timeless beauty.

In conclusion, the story of Riihimäen Lasi Oy is one of innovation, quality and enduring appeal. Its commitment to the principles of Scandinavian design has made it a significant figure in the history of glassmaking. As collectors and museums continue to preserve and display its creations, the legacy of Riihimäen Lasi Oy will continue to inspire and captivate for generations to come.