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Taru Syrjänen




Taru Syrjänen started her art studies in 1972. Gradually she devoted herself completely to glass;

a new material to her. She made her first glass designs for the Humppila glass factory in 1981 and the Tarusto glass set was conceived there. A passion to know more about glass took her to study at the West Surrey College of Art and Design in the UK in 1983. The course in Surrey followed the principles of the International Studio Glass Movement, who had elevated glass to be

an appropriate material for fine art. In England Taru created a unique series of cast sculptures as part of her research into the artistic potential of glass.


After returning to Finland, Taru continued her design work, now for Nuutajärvi Glass owned by Wärtsilä, who had acquired the Humppila glass factory In 1985. Few years later, after the merger between Nuutajärvi and Iittala, in 1988, the Iittala glass factory asked Taru to be their designer. Since 1995 Taru has been working in Tampere as an independent artist.


Exhibition themes have given the rhythm for Taru’s career as a glass artist and they have also varied her expression. The exhibitions have shown a series of discoveries demonstrating the potential of glass as an artistic medium. By the means of the glass the tales from different worlds are revealed. Classical shapes and contrasts of shapes, reflect the perception into water (1988), into space (1991), to the mythological past (1998), and recently to natural sciences (2000-).


Taru has consistently developed her vision in art. Maila-Katriina Tuominen has crystallised Taru’s

artistic qualities (newspaper Aamulehti 31.10.1991): “One who is even slightly familiar with the nature of glass understands that the works are result of a long process requiring accurate research and trials .... She lets the lightness of glass and the clarity of form to meet each other. Works are not decorative objects, they are precisely considered sculptures, with the essence of

harmony and a noble understanding of shape”.


The majority of Taru’s glass sculptures are blown by the legendary Nuutajärvi Master Glass Blowers, Unto Suominen, Ossi Kaarineva and Reima Maaronen. The art and design heritage in Nuutajärvi is unique and tangible. The factory was established in 1793 and it is theoldest continuously operating glass factory in Finland.[The factory was closed 2014 and its production was moved to Iittala].


Kaisa Koivisto

Chief Curator

Finnish Glass Museum


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Since 1995 I have been working at my own studio in Tampere. There I am exploring, creating and developing my own "handwriting" to the glass. I am using many differet cold-glass techniques on the blown glass surface.Usually my unique works have some kind of contrast or many of them in one piece. Which can be a contrasts between shapes, surfaces, colours and transparent / matted glass. My motives can be whatever from the human life and nature.











Taru Syrjänen

Glass Artist / Designer / Visual Artist 

born: 31 August 1953  

Soraharjunkatu 2, 33270 Tampere, Finland,

Tel.  +358 (0)44 3440917




CNAA BA(Hons), West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham,

University of Surrey, England, Three dimensional design / Glass



University of Helsinki, Finland, design and product planning for

small and medium-size industries



University of Tampere, Finland, History of Art



Kankaanpää Art School, Visual Arts, Kankaanpää, Finland






2003            Working visit, Måleros Glassworks, Måleros, Sverige

2002            Working visit, Studio Italo Ballarin, Venice, Italy

1998            Working visit, A.Tzomiianakhe Creta Glass, Creta

1995-           Glass Studio Taru Syrjänen, Tampere, Finland

1993            Seminar of Venice and American glassblowing techniques / Taik,

                    Nuutajärvi, working with Venetsian glassblower Lino Tagliapietra

1991-92       Classical Arts Integration Course, Sibelius-Academy Education Center, 

                    Helsinki, Finland. Finally the field trip to Athens, Greece

1991            Designer, Hacman Iittala Oy Ab, Iittala Glass, Finland

1988-90       Designer, Iittala-Nuutajärvi Oy, Iittala Glass, Finland

1988            Freelance designer, Nuutajärvi Glass of Iittala-Nuutajärvi Oy, Finland

1985-87       Freelance designer, Nuutajärvi Glassworks of Oy Wärtsilä Ab, Finland

1982-84       Freelance product designer, Humppila Glassworks, Finland

1981            Practising product designer, Humppila Glassworks, Finland

1978,79       Teacher on summer courses: Art Happening in Hämeenkyrö /ceramics

1976-80       Teacher, Pirkkala Open Collece for Adults /ceramics

1975-81       Ceramics Studio Satu & Taru Syrjänen, Tampere, Finland 






2015-16     Hiekka Art Museum, Exploration -Unique Glass Works, Tampere, Finland

2013          Studio Gallery, Jubilee Exhibition, Glass 30 Years, Tampere, Finland

2011          Jorma Panula-Foundation, Piiparila, Kirkkonummi, Finland

2011          Willa MAC, Finnish Contemporary Art Museum, Tampere, Finland

2007-08     The Tampere Theatre, Frenckell, Finland

2006          Iittala Art Center, Finland, "On the Way to Mind" 

2006          Gallery Saskia, Tampere, Finland 

2006          Varkaus Art Museum, Finland, Artist's 25th Anniversary Exhibition

2005          Design Year 2005, invitation Täky-Gallery, Lappeenranta, Finland

2004-05     The Finnish Institute in Madrid, Spain, "Impresiones Nordicas"

2000          Voipaala Art Center, Valkeakoski, Finland

                  Invitation exhibition, Arts Council of Pirkanmaa

2000          Tampere-house, Tampere, Finland, "Glass Garden"

1999          Museum of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland, "Strata II" 

1998          Gallery Räikkälä, Kankaanpää, Finland, invitation exhibition

1998          Museum of Häme, Tampere, Finland, "Strata" 

1992          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki Finland, Uniting 3"

1991          Gallery IXIA, Tampere Finland, "Uniting 2" 

1990          Iittala Glass Museum, Iittala, Finland, "From an Idea to the Product"

1990          New York Tabletop & Accessories Show, New York, USA

1990          Kankaanpää Art School 25th Anniversary Exhipition, Kankaanpää, Finland

1988          Gallery Verkaranta, Tampere, Finland, "Uniting"

1986-88     Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, Finland, WSCAD unique glass collection






2015          Finnish Design- and Artglass, Arts and Craft Center Verkaranta, Tampere

2015          Finnish Glass Lives 7, Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki

2014-2015 Finnish Baptismal Font Design Exhibition, 7 another paris: Oulu, Turku, 

                  Pori, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Lahti, Kuopio, (Seinäjoki 2016)

2014          Pirkanmaa Designs 5, Jewelry / MODUS, Art-Hall TR1, Tampere 

2014          Magnificent Ladies from Tampere, Museum Center VAPRIIKKI, Tampere

2013          Design Exhibition of Baptismal Font, Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki

2013          Gallery Angelo, Pori, "Trilogy for Light"

2011          The main library METSO, Tampere, Mansedesign /MODUS

2011          Urkin Piilopirtti, Pinsiön Majat Oy, Pinsiö

2010          Art Center PURNU, Orivesi, "The Sleep of the Bird"

2010          Finnish Design- and Artglass, Arts and Craft Center Verkaranta, Tampere

2010          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, "Finnish Glass Lives 6"

2009          Art-hall TR1, Tampere, MODUS, Pirkanmaa Designs 3"

2008          SuviDesign, Purnu, Orivesi

2008-2012 Art-Nuuttila summer exhibitions, Virrat

2007          "AMERICA!" The National Art Competition, Art Center Ihana, Heinola

2007          Art-hall TR1, Tampere, MODUS, "Pirkanmaa Designs 2" 

2006          Gallery Broms, Helsinki, Finland, "le Trialogue"

2006          Pirkanmaa III Triennial, Art-hall TR1, Finlayson, Tampere

2006          Villa Keisarinharju, Kangasala, "Harmony"

2005          Mäntyharjun Marmorisali, Mäntyharju, Finland

2005          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, "Finnish Glass Lives 5"

2005          Art-hall TR1, Finlayson, Tampere, MODUS, "Pirkanmaa designs 1"

2004,05,011 Villa Keisarinharju, Kangasala, "Arte & Psyke"

2003-04     Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere, "Material & Message"

2003          The National Museum of Finland, Helsinki, Taiko 20th Anniversary exhibition

2001          Museum of Lohja, "Glass lives" / Finnish Glass Museum

2001          Gallery Villa Jankovsky, Kajaani

2000          Haihara Art Center, Tampere, Voipaala Art Center,Valkeakoski

2000          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, Finland, "Finnish Glass Lives 4"

1998          Haihara Art Center, Tampere, "Mode -98"

1998          Design Forum, Helsinki, "Finnish Design 10"

1995          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, "Finnish Glass Lives 3"

1994          Hvitcat Gallery, Hvitträsk

1993          Nuutajärvi glass factory gallery, "Glass Session"

1992          Nuutajärvi glass factory gallery, "Glass Session"

1991          Iittala glass factory summer exhibition, "Glass Fantasy"

1991          Nuutajärvi glass factory gallery

1990          Old Library House Gallery, Tampere

1990          Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki, "Finnish Design 1990"

1990          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, "Finnish Glass Lives 2"

1990          Arabia-Esplanadi Gallery, Helsinki, "Glass Visit"  

1989          Glass Fantasy, Iittala

1986          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, "Finnish Glass Lives 1"

1979          Museum of Modern Art, Tampere

1978          Hämeenkyrö Art Happening

1976          Museum of Modern Art, Tampere

1974          Art Museum, Tampere, 41st Year Exhibition of the Tampere Artists Association






2010          The Vevring Exhibition 2010, the Nordic countries, Vevring, Norway

2009          Finnish Glass Art 2000-2005 / Finnish Glass Museum:

State          Gallery, Banska Bystica, Slovaky

2008          Glascetrum Gernheim, Germany

                  The Museum of Applied Arts in Latvia, Riika

2007          Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Istanbul, Turkey

                  The National Museum of Wroclaw, Poland

2006-07     Stichting National Glassmuseum, Leerdam, the Netherlands

2006          Musée du verre Carmaux, France

                  Conseil Général de Meurthe et Moselle, Nancy, France                            

2005          Steninge Palace Cultural Centre, Märsta, Sweden, 

                  "Steninge World Exhibition of Art Glass 2005"

2004          Gallery Sala Barna, Barcelona, Spain, "Transparent Minds" -glass installation

2001-04    "Finandia - Vanguardia en Vidrio", organised by the Finnish Glass Museum

                  "Fazination glas - Tendenzen in der Finnischen glasskunst":

2004          Galerie Brigitte Kurzendörfer Schloss Glassmuseum, Pilsach, Germany

                  Glasmuseum Gernheim, Petershagen, Germany

2003-04     Stadsmuseum Schleswig, Schleswig, Germany

2003          Felleshuis Galleri, Berlin, Germany

2003          Museo de Historia Mexicana, Monterrey, Mexico

2002-03     Franz Mayer Museum, México, Mexico

2002          Museo do Vidro, Marinha Grande, Portugal

2001          Museo de Pontevedra, Pontevedra, Spain

2001          Fundacion Centro Nacional del Vidrio, La Granja, Spain

2003          The Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest, Hungary: "Material & Message",

2002-03    "Steninge World Exhibition of Art Glass 2002":

                  Steninge Palace Cultural Centre, Märsta, Sweden; Hadeland Glassverk, Norway

2000-02     Nordic Glass 2000:

2002          Fossakleiberg, Norway

2001-02     M.K. Ciurlionis Art Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania

2001          Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, Finland

2000          "Den Nordatlantiske Brygge", Copenhagen, Denmark

1998          "Forsiktig Glass! - Selected Nordic Glass Art", Hå Gamle Prestegard, Norway

1991-94     Vidrio Finlandes Contemporaneo / Contemporary Finish Glass,

                  organized by Museum of Art and Design Finland:

1994          Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon, Portugal

1993          Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, Porto, Portugal, Rabat, Morocco

1991-92     Fundación Centro Nacional del Vidrio, La Granja, Secovia,

                  Cenre Permanent d’Artesania, Barcelona,

                  de la Generalitat de Catalonya, Barcelona, Spain

1991-93    "Art of Glass and Tapestry", organized by Museum of Art and Design Finland

1993          Santiago de Chile, Chile

1992          Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Córdoba, Argentine

1991          Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, Brazil

1992          Neues Glas in Finland / New Glass in Finland, organized by Finnish Glass Museum

                  Nürberg, München, Germany; Graz, Austria; Solothurn, Switzerland

1989          NK-Gallery, Made in Tavastland, Stockholm, Sweden

1987-88    "Finnish Glass", organized by Finnish Glass Museum

                  Museum of Applied Arts, Tallinn; Museum of Art and Design, Moscow,

                  Hermitage Art Museum, Leningrad

1987,88-   Frankfurt International Fair, Germany





2002-2012 Unigue glass gifts for state visit of the President

1991          The Museum of Modern Art New York, "Purje" vase-series in sales collection

1990          The International Design Yearbook 1990/91, England, the work "Kesä"





Nursing Sphere of Pirkanmaa / Raimo Anttila Foundation 

Willa Mac, The Museum of Finnish Contemporary Art, Tampere 

Ev.Lut.Congregation, Tampere, Finland

State of Finland Art Collections

Finnish Institute in Madrid, Spain

The Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Finnish Foreign Ministry

Museum of Applied Arts / Finnish Designmuseum, Helsinki, Finland

Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, Finland

City of Tampere, Finland 

Museum of Modern Art, Tampere, Finland 

Private collections in Finland and abroad





2013-          Tampere Artists´ Association, Finland

2012-          Entrepreneur Women of Tampere, Finland 

2006-          Artist O / Finnish Association of Designers ORNAMO, Helsinki, Finland

2001-          MODUS, Pirkanmaa Association of Art and Design, Finland

1986-2007 ORNAMO/TAIKO, Finnish Association of Designers, Helsinki, Finland

1975-2001 INTERI, Association of Art & Design, Tampere, Finland





2015           Finnish Cultural Foundation, Pirkanmaa Regional fund

2014           Arts Promotion Centre, Helsinki, Finland

2013           City of Tampere, Finland

2012           Arts Council of Pirkanmaa, Finland

2008           City of Tampere, Finland

2007           National Council for Design, Helsinki, Finland

2006           Finnish Cultural Foundation Central Fund

2005           Oskar Oflund Foundation, Helsinki, Finland

2004           Arts Council of Pirkanmaa, Finland

2003           National Council for Design, Helsinki, Finland

2002           City of Tampere, Finland

2001           National Council for Design, Helsinki, Finland

2000,99      Oskar Oflund Foundation, Helsinki, Finland

1999           Board for Compensation Grants to Visual Artists, Helsinki

1997           City of Tampere, Finland

1997,99      National Council for Crafts and Design, Helsinki, Finland

1994           County of Häme, Commission for Art, Finland

1992           Arabia Cultural Foundation, Helsinki, Finland

1990           Finnish Cultural Foundation, Häme Regional fund

1987,91,93 Central Art Council, Helsinki, Finland

1985           Nuutajävi Glassworks / Oy Wärtsilä Ab, Finland

1983,88      City of Tampere, Finland  

1980,83      County of Häme, Finland

1979           Finnish Cultural Foundation, Pirkanmaa Regional fund

1978,79      City of Tampere, Finland





2005           Art Council of Finland, Madrid 

2003           Arts Council of Pirkanmaa, Budapest

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