Ruutu, the new range of glass vases from the Finnish company iittala were designed by brothers Ronan and Erwan Bourouille who are based in Paris.
They have a distinct and very elegant profile with four vertical sides but not set to form a cube with a square or rectangular base because, when seen from above, the four sides form a narrow or compressed diamond but with tight rounded rather than sharp-angles.
Each vase is hand blown but using a metal mould to control the shape and to give a production run consistency.
By blowing the glass, the thickness of the sides can be graded - with the glass at the long outer corners very thin but then thickening gradually towards the corners that are on the short axis. So, although the sides are straight and consistent in thickness vertically, this change in thickness towards the centre along each side, within the glass, and a heavy gathering of glass across the base gives the vases not only a surprising weight but also, and more important, the gradual change in thickness modulates the way light passes through the vase or is reflected to give the glass an incredible depth and richness.
There are plain version of the vase in clear glass but they come in a carefully-chosen range of colours with a deep sand colour called desert, a moss green, a smokey grey, a copper, a deep red called cranberry and a lighter red called salmon pink.
Selecting colours with great care is a hallmark of glassware from iittala and, with their considerable experience and technical skill, they produce glass that is reliably consistent in colour year after year. In each range, such as the Kivi lights or the Kartio water glasses, colours are produced that can happily be mixed together but then, over the years, iittala also cleverly introduce new colours into a range to keep the product alive and in demand … so designs can be not only familiar and dependable, retaining customers, but can also, with a distinct new colour, be fresh and fashionable to follow or to set new trends in table settings.
In their shape the Ruutu vases may seem deceptively simple but it is clear that a phenomenal amount of thought and care has been taken over proportions not only for each vase but also for the relationship between the different sizes if vases are put together. The different heights and sizes can be used on their own, on a shelf or low table for instance, but they are also designed to be set in multiples and would make a dramatic centrepiece for a dining table … with a group either all in one colour or in one size or carefully mixed.