Gunnel Nyman (1909-1948)
Nuutajarvi glassworks has produced artistic glass since 1753, the year of its
foundation. But the manufacture of modern glass did not begin until
1942 when Gunnel, one of Finlands most original
artists was employed as a designer for the factory. Together with
another famous Finnish designer - -Arttu Brummer, she was long responsible
for the glass design in Finland.
The quality of light as embodied in glass was a major interest for
Nyman. She was also fascinated by the instantaneous solidification of the
liquid glass mass. She considered material an essential factor in
design, to a point that, in her opinion, each object had only one
material that it could be made from. Form, proportion and decoration
were only there to enhance the properties inherent in the material.
Nyman began designing bubbled glass objects in the early 1930s.
At that time, she used, as in by chance, bubbles as an element
contained in the glass mass, whereas here designs from the late 1940s
had small even-sized bubbles form a beautiful veil on the outer or
inner surface of objects.
- The most intense period of Nymans creativity timed within the two years
just prior to her death.
In the 1950s and '60s, the concept of Finnish Design won world wide
fame. The breakthrough came at the Milan Triennial in 1951, when
Finland was awarded 8 Grand Prix prizes, 4 honourable mentions,
7 gold medals and 8 silver medals.
Such names as Gunnel Nyman (she was awarded gold medal for glass
posthumously), Kaj Franck, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva were on
Although Gunnel Nymans career cut short by an untimely death, she had
time enough to give a new direction to Finnish glass design. Her work
foreshadowed the work of the 1950s and 1960s Finnish glass
Information: 'Gunnel Nyman'. The bulletin of the Finnish Glass Museum 'Glassresearch IV', 1987
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