Designer and artist Markku Salo (born in 1954) is known for his multifaceted techniques and artistic interpretations, both of which are evident for instance in the many glassmaking techniques he has developed in his over 30-year career. He lives and works in Nuutajärvi Glass Village, on the site of a 200-year-old community for artists, designers, craftsmen and craftswomen working with glass.
Salo’s relationship with glass started in 1983. His uncompromising artistic vision and exploratory nature are filtered through an in-depth understanding of the material. His extensive collection of unique pieces ranges from playful pâte-de-verre objects to pieces that blend glass and mesh in unexpected ways and to collectors’ items such as bottles and lamps.
Since the beginning of his career, Salo has also worked with industrial production, creating collections for leading Scandinavian houses including Iittala, Nuutajärvi and Wärtsilä. All industrially produced items have been labelled “Markku Salo Design” since 2004.
This far Salo has had 36 private shows and his works have been exhibited at various international forums. His designs can be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Nationalmuseum, the national gallery of Sweden in Stockholm, and the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.
Among the awards Salo has received are the Georg Jensen Prize, the State of Finland Prize for Industrial and Applied Arts and Kaj Franck Design Prize 2015.
Markku Salo says:
“Movement, experimentation, size, different materials – I am interested in finding new ways to express the artistic quality of glass as a material. But any technique is just a tool, it should never outrank the content. Design and art form an integral whole, they are different ways of approaching the material. When designing, I think about the user; when working on art, I think about myself. My art is related to contemporary matters, to the life surrounding me.”