This elegant Stacking Glass reflects Saara Hopea's functionalist ideals of economy and minimal design.

Stacking glass fact file

Date

c.1950s

Designed by

Saara Hopea 

Made from

Glass

Made in

Finland by Nuutajärvi Notsjö

Museum reference

K.2015.23.37K.2015.23.38K.2015.23.39K.2015.23.63

K.2015.23.65, K.2015.23.66K.2015.23.67K.2015.23.68

Did you know?

Hopea’s stacking cups, designed in 1952, won a silver medal at the 1954 Milan Triennale.

Who was Saara Hopea?

Finnish ceramicist, furniture, glass and silverware designer, Saara Hopea-Untracht was born on August 26th, 1925 in Porvoo, Finland. Like many of her contemporaries she excelled in a wide variety of materials, achieving silver medals for her glass at two of the Milan Triennale’s. 

Hopea is renowned for her clean undecorated glass forms produced in a rainbow of muted colours, which like Kaj Franck, followed the shapes of geometry.

Hopea worked as assistant to Kaj Franck from the early 1950’s at the ceramic manufacturer Arabia and the glassworks Nuutajärvi Notsjö. Trained as an interior designer, she was initially employed by Franck to assist him in designing interiors and furniture for the Arabia-Nuutajärvi showroom. But was soon asked to design ceramic wares for the Arabia factory and glassware for the Nuutajärvi factory.

Nordic Modernist design

The Second World War and its aftermath profoundly affected the ideals of many designers. At the core of these beliefs was the idea of democratic design; the creation of well-designed objects that everyone could afford and enjoy. 

During the 1950s the highly influential La Triennale di Milano exhibitions in Milan brought Finnish design, particularly glass, to the fore. As a result, Finland became regarded as a leading exponent of Modernist design.

Three of the most noted Modernist designers were Kaj Franck, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva, who created innovative yet functional ‘Art Glass’ that was accessible to all.

They were part of a vanguard of Nordic designers experimenting with new techniques, for which they received international recognition for their unique approaches to glass design and production.

Ateenan aamu (Morning in Athens) by Kaj Franck

Nuutajärvi Notsjo

Saara Hopea worked alongside Kaj Franck to modernise production at Nuutajärvi. Together they created innovative designs for mass manufacture which reflected their functionalist ideals of economy and minimal design. Their elegant minimalist glassware came to epitomize Finnish design in the 1950’s. 

Nuutajärvi, is Finland’s oldest glassworks and was founded in 1793. Leading Finnish designers of the post-war years at Nuutajärvi, such as Kaj Franck and Oiva Toikka helped make the glassworks widely known. 

More pieces by Saara Hopea in our collection

Set of wooden dish and three glass bowls, designed by Saara Hopea for Nuutajärvi Notsjo, Finland.

Tapering cylindrical vase of blue glass, probably designed by Saara Hopea for Nuutajärvi Notsjo, Finland.

 

 

Vase designed by Saara Hopea for Nuutajärvi Notsjo, Finland.

Explore more

Tags

Back to top

Discover the story of Scottish pop music as we take you on a musical journey from the 1950s to the present day in our new exhibition.

Members go free!

Book now