Iivari Viilomaa, a carpenter with design company Nikari, is a flea market fan. He has acquired an enviably extensive collection of Finnish glassware.
IIVARI VIILOMAA: “I began collecting Finnish design gradually, by touring flea markets. However, I was carried away by my hobby and am now an avid tourer of flea markets and recycling centers. At a certain point, our home began to be overwhelmed with my finds, so I decided to focus on colored, practical glassware by Nuutajärvi.
My mother works at the Finnish Glass Museum at Riihimäki, so glass design is close to my heart. My favourite designers are Saara Hopea and Kaj Franck, and my favorite objects are the juice basket sets — comprising colorful glasses and a pitcher — made at the Nuutajärvi glass factory. I’ve yet to find one basket designed by Franck, but I have all the others.
Perseverance, regular rounds of flea markets, and thorough knowledge of collectors’ items are the key to making good finds. As you learn more about glass design, for example, you can even identify an object’s origin from its production technique or color.
“Perseverance, regular rounds of flea markets, and thorough knowledge of collectors’ items are the key to making good finds.”
I am particularly thrilled when I find original Nuutajärvi packaging. You don’t see it often at flea markets, but I’ve managed to collect more than thirty examples. I love the care with which the packaging was designed and made.
One of my favorites is the Kaj Franck Party pitcher set; its rare packaging is illustrated with penguins. Designed in the post-war period, the set is very compact in kitchen cupboards: the ten glasses fit ingeniously inside the pitcher. For me, this is design at its very best.”
What is Franckly?
Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen