Posti’s art award 2021 goes to glass artist Alma Jantunen
Stamps featuring colorful pieces of glass art to be issued in September
Posti Ltd has granted the stamp art promotion award for 2021 to glass artist Alma Jantunen, who is known for her colorful glass artwork. Posti’s art award includes a prize of EUR 10,000 as well as a stamp publication of the artist’s works. Jantunen’s art will be featured on two stamps issued in September.
According to Alma Juntunen, her glass sculptures are inspired by living beings, plants or snow, for example. “The ideas for the pieces and their shapes often come from momentary impressions and atmospheres that I write down.”
As an artisan, Jantunen both designs and produces her pieces on her own. “It is important to have a clear idea in your mind when starting to outline the piece. I use quick sketches to plan the execution, technique and size of the sculpture.”
Glass-blowing is intense work; the mass cools down quickly. “I usually select the colors at the last minute. I use an extensive collection of about 400 colors and pick the shades intuitively. The colors in a piece of glass art settle when the mass cools down, but the glass-blowing technique gives the colors and shapes a sense of movement,” says Jantunen, describing the process.
Jantunen values the teamwork in glass-blowing. “I can blow glass on my own, but I need help producing the finished piece. Teamwork is much more inspiring than working alone.”
Alma Jantunen lives and works in the Nuutajärvi Glass Village, home to many producers of glass art and glass products. In 1999, Jantunen and Johannes Rantasalo set up their own glass studio, Glass Circus, which specialises in glass art. “At Glass Circus, we work on our art and help other artists and designers produce unique glass items.”
Jantunen believes that the appreciation of unique glass pieces is increasing. “I’m glad to see people discovering the world of glass art and starting to collect their favorite pieces. It makes me happy to know that my art is in my customers’ homes, where it is really present in life.“
Unique pieces of glass art add a touch of luxury, even to stamps
The stamps to be issued in September will feature two colorful pieces, Fruit Bottles and Cactus Pigga, which are also among the favorites of Jantunen’s customers. AD Paula Salviander is responsible for the graphic design of the stamps.
With the art award, Posti wants to raise the status of stamps and art and increase people’s appreciation of them. “Over the years, our stamps have presented a lot of Finnish design, and Alma Jantunen’s pieces are a perfect addition to this series. Alma is a gifted artisan whose unique and colorful pieces add a touch of luxury to everyday life, now in stamp format as well,” says Design Manager Tommi Kantola, who is in charge of stamp production at Posti.
This is the fifth time Posti’s art award has been presented. In 2017, the art award was presented to sculptor Jasmin Anoschkin, in 2018 to graffiti artist EGS, in 2019 to fashion designer Mert Otsamo and in 2020 to artist Janne Laine.
Alma Jantunen, 48
· Graduated from the glass artisan programme of the Wetterhoff Institute for Arts & Creative Handicrafts in 1996.
· Many solo and group exhibitions in over 10 countries.
· Winner of Artisan of the Year 2007 (Ornamo) and the Taito Award 2016 (Taito Organization), among other things.
· Artwork featured in the Finnish Glass Museum, Design Museum, the art collection of the State of Finland, the Craft Museum of Finland and the University of Tampere.