Paula Pääkkönen

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Paula Pääkkönen and I work in Nuutajärvi, Finland, where the glass blowing tradition goes back 226 years. I first got to touch hot glass in 2010 when I started studying Ceramic and Glass design in Kuopio Academy of Design. It was love at first sight. After graduating as a designer I have studied glass blowing in Nuutajärvi a total of 3,5 years getting two different degrees in glass blowing. I now work as a freelance glassblower for artists and designers and also make my own products and art.

What draws you to the material you work with?

I’m fascinated by the never ending possibilities of glass and the way glass depicts color. I love to challenge myself learning new techniques and pushing my skills to their limits. I’m inspired by different glass blowing techniques and for me working with glass is like sketching in 3D – when I’m working on one idea, it might spark another one in the middle of the process and lead to a whole new series of work. 

What themes do you pursue in your work, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?

Inspiration comes always from my inner world. My connection to the nature. My connection to the world and people. My emotions, feelings, sense of humor. The memory of a child’s imagination, where common things become magical and the proportions of the world vary and change in time. 

The themes are often very different depending on whether I’m creating art or a product to be used.

What is your dream project?

Right now I’m dreaming on creating my first solo exhibition, a series of work investigating the theme of taste and tackiness. I’m wondering if I can make art so tasteless it actually becomes interesting. Like a joke so bad, it’s actually funny.

What’s something about you that most people don’t know?

I considered applying for an elf school in Lapland, Santa’s Village. Could’ve been a professional elf.

Why are you a member of GAS?

I feel like GAS is great platform to connect to the international glass family and to share the passion for glass. I’ve also attended one GAS-conference in Murano and hope to attend many more!

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