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Finland's Biggest Community of Glass Artists Works at Nuutajärvi Lasikompppania

Nuutajärvi is one of Finland's leading art glass centers. The village's glass furnaces are maintained by a unique community of glass artists, thanks to which Finnish glass culture lives and develops. Nuutajärvi Glass Village will celebrate its 230th anniversary next year, which means busy times for Lasikomppania.

Lasikomppania maintains the workspaces needed for glass production in Nuutajärvi. During a year, 12,000 kilograms of glass pass through the two glass furnaces. Photo: Lasikomppania


Lasikomppania is Continuing the 230-year-old Glassblowing Heritage

Lasikomppania (glass company), officially called Nuutajärven Lasitaitajat ry, is an association founded in 2003 in Nuutajärvi Glass Village. Lasikomppania supports the development of the glass industry and the preservation of glassmaking skills in Finland. The association consists of 16 artists, designers, and glassblowers working in Nuutajärvi Glass Village. Lasikomppania's working premises create an opportunity for the production of high-quality art glass. Nuutajärvi Glass Village, which will celebrate its 230th anniversary next year, has a long tradition in glass manufacturing. Focused initially on manufacturing window glass, the Glass Village has developed over the years along with changing needs. Today, Nuutajärvi functions as a center for the production of high-quality art glass. Since the 1950s, Nuutajärvi has been characterized by the development of various art techniques in glassmaking, which is still typical for the artists working at Lasikomppania. Lasikomppania's hot shop is located in the same place where the first furnace was founded more than 200 years ago. In addition to the members of the association, visiting artists and designers work on Lasikomppania's premises. Workshops are also organized for private visitors, companies, and professionals. GLASS Residency aimed at professional artists has been organized at Lasikomppania's premises for over 10 years. In Nuutajärvi Glass Village, in addition to Lasikomppania, there are entrepreneurs in various art fields, a glass school, a hotel, a restaurant, art exhibitions, galleries, and a glass museum.

The Lasikomppania's Hot Shop - a Versatile Space for Glass Processing and a Platform for Workshops


In addition to the members of Lasikomppania, the glass cabin is rented by visiting artists and designers with their teams. Extensive working spaces and a network of creators enable a wide range of production and events to be organized.

Lasikomppania's hot shop functions as a working space, a workshop for visiting artists, and a center for artist residencies. Photo: Lasikomppania


The cabin equipment includes e.g. a 138kg glass oven and a 40kg stained glass oven, four front-filling cooling ovens, a front-opening ceramic oven, and two pick-up ovens. Decorative, functional, and art glass can be manufactured with the equipment. Two glassblowing teams can work in the space at the same time. You can find more information about the equipment of the hot shop here.


In the future, Lasikomppania aims to develop into an international center of the glass industry, where professionals can use modern equipment and produce their products in an environmentally friendly manner. Modern workspaces, ecological working methods, heat recovery, and design that takes into account various forms of energy create a strong foundation for the community, which is needed to secure the future of the glass industry.


In April 2022, glass artist Anu Penttinen organized a roll-up workshop in the hot shop together with the American glass artist Slate Grove. In the picture, two of the glass artists who participated in the workshop are working on a multicolored piece. Photo: Anu Penttinen

The Community of Artists Behind the Lasikomppania's Activity

The largest network of independent glass artists in the Nordic countries works in Lasikomppania. The association, founded in 2003, operates artist-led and non-profit. The main purpose of the artists' association is to maintain the workspaces of glass artists and glass blowers, i.e. the hot shop, and to increase the global recognition of the glass produced in Nuutajärvi. The unique atmosphere of the glass village, the strong community of glass artists, and working in the culturally valuable Nuutajärvi Glass Village are the reasons why working in Nuutajärvi feels more meaningful.

The active members of the glass company currently include 16 glass artists, designers, and glassblowers. The association maintains the operations and work spaces of Lasikomppania in Nuutajärvi. Photo: Lasikomppania The members of the association are diverse. Some have been making glass for a long time, while others are just at the beginning of their career. Some of the members live in Nuutajärvi, but many live in big cities. Some of the members blow glass themselves and some are designers and artists who work together with a team of glassblowers. Future blog posts will delve into the activities and working methods of different glass artists in detail.


The works of artists working in Lasikomppania can be viewed at organized exhibitions, galleries, boutiques, or on the artists' own websites. In the hot shop, visitors can also freely observe the artists at work from a close distance. More information about the members and their work can be found here.


Upcoming Events at Lasikomppania

Lasikomppania starts organizing an annual international GLASS Residency, in which Finnish or foreign glass artists and designers can participate. The financier of this year's residency is a Nordic art glass collector and commercial counselor Kyösti Kakkonen. The International Residency gives you the opportunity to work in Finland's oldest glass village and network with local glass professionals. The first residency will take place on from the 8th to the 17th of December, 2022. The artist in December's residency is Ned Cantrell.

Photo: Lasikomppania

The Arts Promotion Center Finland (Taike) supports Lasikomppania with its communication activities, thanks to which articles will be published regularly on the blog in the future. In the following blog posts, we will get to know the individual artists of Lasikomppania and their working methods. Subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of the page, and you will receive information by email about new blog posts and other Lasikomppania news!


The glass company is also active on Instagram and Facebook, where you can see more visual content about the everyday activities of the hot shop.


Instagram: @Lasikomppania

Facebook: Lasikomppania

 

Tuukka Palonen The author is a freelance writer originally from Nuutajärvi and one of the producers of Mitäs Mitäs Mitäs festival organized in Nuutajärvi.

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