The ever popular Ultima Thule range from Iittala was inspired by the melting ice in Lapland. The term “Ultima Thule” was used long ago to refer to a place beyond the known world. Certainly the textural quality of the glasswork evokes imagery of far away icy vistas.
Designer Tapio Wirkkala spent thousands of hours perfecting glass-blowing techniques required to produce the effect on the glassware. He initially created the ice-like texture by carving it into a graphic mould but the molten effect comes from the glass forming process itself.
The Ultima Thule range consists of not just plates but cups, pitchers and other traditional glassware. It was used on the first Finnair flight in 1969 and was later adopted by their first class service.
2015 was the 100th anniversary of Wirkkala’s birth and coincided with the release of their large plate sizes pictured here.
It remains the single most popular range for Finnish design house Iittala who have manufactured it continuously since it debuted in 1968.