Päivi Jantunen: Kaj & Franck. Esineitä ja lähikuvia / Designs & Impressions

6 July 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Kaj & Franck. Esineitä ja lähikuvia. / Designs & Impressions
English translations: Peter Herring and Esa Lehtinen
Helsinki: WSOY, 2011. 166 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-36898-5
€ 42, hardback

This dual-language book showcases the work of one of Finland’s most widely known glass and ceramic designers in his centenary year. The unaffected designs and clean geometric shapes of the tableware designed by Kaj Franck (1911–1989) are well suited to a wide range of cultures. Franck’s guiding principle was to create anonymous, self-evident objects for everyday use. In the 1940s and 1950s, Franck updated tableware to match post-war changes in society; he wanted to get away from the sets of crockery that filled up smaller kitchen cupboards. His designs that emphasised environmental principles and equality were ahead of their time with their ideology of sustainable development. This book portrays Franck’s life and career, which centred on the oldest glassworks in Finland in the community of Nuutajärvi, where he worked from the early 1950s until his death. Interviews with local residents and Franck’s colleagues create a portrait of him as a colourful personality. Ample illustrations provide a cross-section of Franck’s design output. In addition to his mass-produced items, there are photos of Franck’s one-off artistic creations.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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