Renowned artist and designer Oiva Toikka dies

The designer's iconic and delicate glass birds for Iittala are collected by enthusiasts around the world.

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File picture of designer Oiva Toikka / Credit: Iittala

Renowned Finnish artist and designer Oiva Toikka has died age 87.

The designer, who worked extensively in ceramics and glass, passed away at a nursing home on Easter Monday.

Born in Viipuri, in what is now part of Russia, Toikka studied at the School of Art and Design in Helsinki.

During his distinguished career he worked for some of the biggest names in Finnish design like Iittala, Arabia and Marimekko.

Toikka is remembered particularly for his glass work, and his most famous designs for Iittala are a range of delicate and colourful glass birds. He also designed some distinctive Kastehelmi dishes and bowls for Iittala which can be found in many Finnish homes.

Handmade glass bird by Oiva Toikka / Credit: Iittala

“Birds by Toikka, a series designed for Iittala, combines the artist’s limitless imagination with his expertise in the characteristics of glass” says Iittala in a statement.

“The unique and colorful birds, which are all handmade, have become the passion of collectors worldwide” the statement adds.

With projects in fashion design, staging and plastics, Toiva more recently collaborated to design the interior of Helsinki’s Michelin-star restaurant Chez Dominique.

Oiva Toikka won the Kaj Franck Prize for design; the Swedish Prince Eugen Medal awarded to Nordic artists; and the Pro Finlandia Medal given to Finnish writers and artists by the President.

His wife, glass artist Inkeri Toikka, passed away in 2009.