Aino + Alvar Alto         1936          Vase                                                      

Created by this renowned Finnish architect-designer with his wife to mimic a leather breech dress worn by Eskimo women, this beautifully simple vase has inspired generations of designers and owners alike. While the first prototypes of this artisanal piece, created for a competition, were made by blowing glass between wooden sticks stuck into the ground to create its significant wavy pattern, later on a wooden mold was used. Interestingly, the designers never made money with this organically shaped design icon, since the intellectual property rights belonged to the factory that organised the competition. However, it made them well known, since it was chosen as a piece for the 1937 Universal Exhibition in Paris, where it, and its creators, became instantly famous. Today it has its place in many design museums around the world. The object has a sculptural quality, showing the architect’s trademark wavy pattern which he also used for bent wood furniture pieces he designed in his prolific career. These undulations make it a showcase piece with or without flowers.