Set Your eBay Alert for These Amazing, Vintage Kaj Franck Goblets
While Finnish people might associate Kaj Franck primarily with the ceramic dishware he created for Arabia — which could be found on many a Scandinavian table during the second half of the last century — we’ve always mentally connected him with glass, possibly because Iittala’s spare yet colorful Kartio line feels almost like a basic over here in America. And yet our jaws still hit the floor in utter surprise and delight last week when, in the process of researching this story, we discovered a glass-related pastime of Franck’s that we had no idea existed (and one that pretty much flies in the face of what we always thought of as his minimal, MCM oeuvre): making elaborate art-glass goblets.
It turns out that in 1952, while he was design director for Finland’s Nuutajärvi Notsjö glassworks, Franck brought over two Italian glassblowers from Murano to work for the company — after which, it appears he remained partially under the sway of those influences through two more decades of experimenting with totemic stacks of color, shape, and pattern (alongside his more streamlined work, of course). We dug up as many photos as we could of these amazing vintage creations, which these days are primarily available on eBay or at auction. You learn something new every day.