When Modernism arrived in Scandinavia in the 1930s, Finnish designers quickly became known for their handblown coloured glass, which was more substantial and elemental than that of their Italian counterparts in Murano. Alvar Aalto, Kaj Franck and Tapio Wirkkala were unconcerned with delicacy, employing richly hued cased glass in geometric dimensions shorn of ornament and taking inspiration from abstract stone sculptors such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Today, one of their spiritual heirs, the 53-year-old Helsinki-based Harri Koskinen, has electrified that uniquely moody Finnish aesthetic in a series of glass table lamps for Hermès. These 25-centimetre-high domed fixtures, in smoky tones of cassis, fern and amber, don’t merely illuminate but smoulder with a volcanic light.
Souffle d’Hermès lamps, price on request, hermes.com. Photograph by Amanda Sellem.