Marja-Leena Salo:

A village in the woods

Internationalism a source of strength for Nuutajärvi

Why did Captain Jacob Wilhelm de Pont (Depong) decide to establish a glassworks in Nuutajärvi more than 200 years ago? The network of roads was primitive, the railway didn’t exist there at the time nor was there much tradition of glass blowing. But there was lots of forest – and de Pont had an entrepreneurial spirit. Thanks to Captain de Pont, we can still stroll through Finland’s oldest glass village, watch glassblowers and artisans at work and see for ourselves how contemporary design and art are created.

Renewal has ensured the continuity of the glass village. A major innovator was Adolf Törngren, a lawyer trained on the bench, who saw to the internationalization of Nuutajärvi Glass Village in the late 1850s. He recruited glassblowers from Central Europe, who brought with them a high level of expertise. One of the arrivals to Nuutajärvi was G. F. Stockmann, who came from Germany and worked as a bookkeeper and French interpreter. In the late 1850s he was given the task of setting up shop to sell Nuutajärvi glass in Helsinki. Stockmann succeeded in his assignment, creating the base for what is now Stockmann’s Department Store.

For a detailed account of Nuutajärvi Glass Village’s history, read more here.