Kaj Franck - A large topaz-blue and clear glass art-object, model KF 261 - Nuutajärvi-Notsjö Finland circa 1965

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Kaj Franck - A large topaz-blue and clear glass art-object, model KF 261 - Nuutajärvi-Notsjö Finland circa 1965

A large round, topaz-blue and clear cased glass, moldblown, turned and cut art-object, model KF 261, designed by Kaj Franck in 1960, executed by the Nuutajärvi-Notsjö glassworks circa 1965.

These art-objects / bowls were made between 1960 and 1968 in three colors (green, blue and purple) and two sizes (150, 220 mm). This being a largest size example executed in a striking unusual topaz-blue.

It is marked underneath the base: Nuutajärvi-Notsjö. In accordance with Kaj Franck's ideas regarding the role of the artist in the creative process, his designs were - from mid-1960's to the late 1970's - signed with the factory name only .

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About Kaj Franck

Kaj Franck (Vyborg, Finland 1911 – Santorini, Greece 1989) was an influential Finnish designer and leading figure in Finnish art-world between 1940-1980. 

Born in 1911 on the Finnish Russian border in a family of architects (his grandfather was director of the famous Arabia Ceramics factory) of Finnish-German-Swedish decent.

He attended the furniture department of Taideteollinen korkeakoulu (todays Aalto university school of Arts, Design and Architecture) in Helsinki.  

After his studies he worked as a freelance designer until he joined Arabia as a designer in 1945. In 1950 he became Arabia’s Artistic Director. He also designed glass-objects for Iittala between 1946 and 1950 and between 1950 and 1976 for Nuutajärvi-Notsjö glassworks. 

From 1945 onwards he worked as and educator at Taideteollinen korkeakoulu and he became the institute's Artistic Director in 1960.

His modernist designs in everyday tableware glass are considered to be a revolution and classic Finnish design object (most notably his Kilta tableware and Kartio glassware). 

He is often referred to as “the conscience of Finnish design”, moderation, ecology and equality were Franck’s principles. He strove to minimise the number of everyday objects we need in our lives, drawing attention to the sustainability and life cycle of products. 

Kay Franck’s designs are in collections of numerous museums all over the world. Among others: Design Museum Helsinki, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and The British Museum, London. He was a recipient of many prizes. Most notably the Lunning prize in 1955, a “Grand prix” and several “Gold medals” at the Triennale di Milano.        

Today his name is used for the prestigious “The Kaj Franck Design Prize” annually awarded by the Finnish Design Forum. 

Nuutajärvi-Notsjö glassworks, Finland circa 1965 

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