Having been very kindly invited to a flower arranging workshop with Iittala and The Flower Appreciation Society, last Friday we went along to find a gorgeous studio tucked away within a courtyard finding a few faces welcoming us in with tea and fresh croissants. Set upon the work benches were buckets of florals with the Aalto vase proudly sitting next to it, all for us to start creating our very own arrangement within.

Before the creativity started flowing, author of 'Modern Scandinavian Design', Charlotte Fiell inspired us with a few words on the background of the iconic Finnish vase which features in the new book. We discovered the design may have sprung from the designer's father being a cartographer and landscaper, as when looking from a bird's eye view the vase takes complete form of a lake, especially when filled partially with water and 'aalto' means 'wave' in Finnish. The most surprising element of the talk was when Charlotte informed us there were around 187,888 lakes in Finland and so the vase may have been based of the Finnish landscape itself.

Photography: Oliver Rudkin 

An interesting point made was that designer Alvar Aalto chose not to focus on the function of the organic vase but instead leaving it up to each individual to decide on its use while bringing nature into your home. Mention of the function meant a few suggestions were made on how the vase has been used previously in people's homes, and rather than filling it with a floral display it has been known to be filled with such things as walnuts, sweets, tangerines, remote controls and even used as a goldfish bowl!

Ellie from The Flower Appreciation Society kindly gave a us a few tips to get us going....

Photography: Oliver Rudkin

...and quite swiftly we had all created a gorgeous arrangement to take home and here it is alongside one of the Kastehelmi desert candle holders by Oiva Toikka. Thanks for a great creative morning!

Article by: EKBB