The Kuksa glass by Tapio Wirkkala is Hanna-Katariina Mononen’s favorite object

The alluring glass design forces writer and stylist Hanna-Katariina Mononen to pause and focus on mundane moments and appreciate them in a different way.

Hanna-Katariina Mononen
“The Kuksa glass is a distinctively poetic object, and its expressive design feels like a message from the designer himself,” says writer and stylist Hanna-Katariina Mononen.

“I HAD SET MY HEART on a Kuksa glass, a 1962 design by Tapio Wirkkala, before I found one by chance at a flea market. I often fall in love with objects beforehand, being captivated by a certain quality or the story behind them. However, I have no immediate urge to own them. Sometimes, my relationship remains at the level of infatuation, and I just admire objects at a distance, as if I owned them. The flea market had several Kuksas, but I bought just one. I felt it was more special to me on its own.

Kuksa glass by Tapio Wirkkala
As its name suggests, the Kuksa glass bears close resemblance to a traditional drinking vessel used by the Sami people in Lapland.

“I often fall in love with objects beforehand, being captivated by a certain quality or the story behind them.”

Kuksa glass by Tapio Wirkkala
Tapio Wirkkala designed Kuksa in two colors and sizes, but only the smaller,gray version made it into production.

It has become a cherished object, and I carry it around the house as a water glass on a daily basis. My hands have become accustomed to its special, alluring shape. I feel that certain objects act as silent partners in life, enabling simple, smooth everyday routines. Wirkkala’s Kuksa is among the more special, awe-inspiring objects that force me to pause and focus on mundane moments and appreciate them in a different way.

I admire Wirkkala and how he lived for his work. Being such an old and personal object, Kuksa provides a kind of tangible link to his work. It was also one of his personal favorites.

Kuksa glass by Tapio Wirkkala
“The flea market had several Kuksas, but I bought just one. I felt it was more special to me on its own,” says Hanna-Katariina Mononen.

Wirkkala designed Kuksa in two sizes and colors, but only the smaller, smoke-gray version went into production at the time. I find the story of the larger, clear-glass Kuksa touching: it was placed in the dressing room of the Wirkkala family’s sauna, and was used by all family members for drinking fresh, cold water.”

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• Created and curated by Finnish Design Shop
• Buy and sell pre-owned design treasures: Franckly.com >

See also:

Tableware by Tapio Wirkkala at Franckly >

Text and photos: Suvi Kesäläinen

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