Tavastia Vocational College's artisanal education in glassblowing to begin at the Iittala Glass Factory

Fiskars Group
Press release
September 23, 2020 at 09:00 a.m. (EEST)


Tavastia Vocational College’s artisanal education in glassblowing to begin at the Iittala Glass Factory

From the beginning of 2021, Finnish glass education will see the addition of a new industrial production program at the Iittala Glass Factory. The program, which will be organized in cooperation with Tavastia Vocational College, focuses on industrial glass production.

Fiskars Group’s Iittala Glass Factory and Tavastia Vocational College will join forces to offer a new industrial Vocational Education in Arts and Design program focusing on glass production at the Glass Factory from the beginning of 2021. In Finland, glass professionals are currently being trained at Tavastia Vocational College in Nuutajärvi and at Ikaalinen School of Arts and Crafts (Ikata). The new program at Iittala complements Finnish education in the glass industry and strengthens the profile of the industry.

“Glass has been blown at the Iittala Glass Factory since 1881, and the factory has had a traditional master-apprentice system in use from the beginning, where newcomers learn the profession from more experienced glassblowers. We want to continue and further develop this tradition in order to contribute to the preservation and development of the Finnish glass industry,” states Heikki Väänänen, director of the Iittala Glass Factory.

The students of the Vocational Education in Arts and Design program will graduate as artisans. They will complete their professional studies with a training contract at the Iittala Glass Factory under the guidance of experienced master glassblowers. The studies in the glass industry last 2–3 years, and a maximum of ten students are admitted to the program in the first application round. Applications can be submitted all year round through Tavastia’s website.

“Tavastia’s glass education in Nuutajärvi is unique in handling hot glass, and the training carried out at Iittala complements the program. The new program gives students the opportunity to focus especially on the skills needed by the Iittala Glass Factory,” says Minna Leminen, Training Manager at Tavastia Vocational College.

“What is new is that the vocational studies are carried out in a business environment at the Iittala Glass Factory. The hope is that the new type of business cooperation model will serve as a model for other similar training programs in the future. We want to play our part in securing the skills and manpower needed by companies in the region”, says Jouni Haajanen, director of Tavastia Education Consortium. 

Glass expertise is at the core of Iittala

A total of a couple of hundred glass professionals work at the Iittala Glass Factory. Most of Iittala’s glass items are produced at the Iittala Glass Factory: both mouthblown glassware and pressed glassware. Mouth blowing can only be practiced with thousands of repetitions, learning about the techniques and the nature of glass.

Iittala’s most internationally known object is an icon of Nordic design: the Aalto vase, designed by architect Alvar Aalto in 1936. The creation of one Aalto vase requires a team of 6–7 glassblowers, 12 different work stages and 10 hours. To be able to blow Aalto vases, a glassblower usually needs about five years of experience as a professional industrial glassblower.

“Iittala is world-famous especially for its glass and glass color expertise. Iittala’s glass is known for its brightness and refractivity, and Iittala’s glass color archive consists of about 200 different glass colors and thousands of glass color recipes. Exceptional glass expertise and an extensive color library are based on in-depth knowledge of glass as a material, glass handling expertise and a positive attitude towards experimenting, which we want to safeguard in order to continue to nurture Iittala’s unique glass know-how,” states Carolina Bade, Business Director at Iittala.


Media contacts:

Pictures and video in the material bank: https://fiskars.emmi.fi/l/SjZbDfpqRqXg

Jenni Marsio
Communications Manager
Fiskars Group
+358 45 636 0400

Minna Leminen
Training Manager
Tavastia Vocational College
+358 50 500 1377


Fiskars Group

Making the everyday extraordinary

Fiskars Group’s vision is to create a positive, lasting impact on our quality of life. Our brands Fiskars, Gerber, Iittala, Royal Copenhagen, Waterford, and Wedgwood are present in people’s everyday lives – at home, in the garden, and outdoors. This gives us an opportunity to make the everyday extraordinary today, and for future generations. We have a presence in 30 countries, and our products are available in more than 100 countries. Our shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki (FSKRS). Please visit us at www.fiskarsgroup.com for more information and follow us on Twitter @fiskarsgroup.


As a pioneer of Nordic design, Iittala is dedicated to the pursuit of better living. Iittala represents thoughtful design that is made to be loved and used, day in and day out, for generations to come. Progressive Nordic living since 1881.

Tavastia Vocational College

Tavastia Vocational College is a multidisciplinary vocational school in Hämeenlinna, Janakkala and Urjala. At Tavastia, students can complete a bachelor’s degree, a vocational degree, a specialist vocational degree or individual parts of a degree. In addition, it organizes the preparatory VALMA program for vocational training and basic education for adult immigrants. Every year, more than 4,000 people study at Tavastia Vocational College. Additional information: kktavastia.fi. FB and Instagram: @ammattiopistotavastia