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Interview with Sini Majuri

Home > Designer Interviews > Sini Majuri

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Sini Majuri (SM) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Sini Majuri by clicking here.

Interview with Sini Majuri at Wednesday 6th of May 2020
Sini Majuri
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
SM: In many ways I get my inspiration from the nature - glass is a medium that can be weightless and strong in the same time. This is something I want to reflect in my art and design by aiming to create future classics. The premise of my glass design is to create objects that gain their value from the quality, design and material. Objects that have a soul. In 2008 my art installation was in the same exhibition next to a glass sculpture by iconic Finnish designer Oiva Toikka - and it was love at first sight. From there on I have been approaching the glass material from the viewpoint of Scandinavian tradition, combining it to modern 3D-design.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
SM: Sini Majuri Glass Design creates interior design objects, custom made light sculptures and limited edition series of household glass. Being a small design studio is a strength, because it makes it possible to offer exclusiveness. Every item is shaped by hand, signer and numbered. I’m also working with glass in the setting of contemporary art. Many of my sculptural works are surreal narratives captured inside thick glass and have hidden details in them that can only be seen from exact angle.

FS: What is "design" for you?
SM: I see design as form of visual poetry - a language of beauty, functionality and style.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
SM: Most of my designs are interior design objects, such as vases and lamps. All of my glass works are made in Finland because hight quality is important starting point of the design. Recently I have been also working with custom made interior installations and objects. For example in last month I designed a custom lamp series for a marine researchers home. He wanted to have unique light sculptures in his living room that look like deep sea creatures. These kind of unique projects give a change to think outside the box and approach the glass medium from a new perspective.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
SM: I was invited to design a vase collection for DutZ Collection in Netherlands. The Jungle Vase collection won a Golden Award from A'Design Awards in 2018.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
SM: In a way glass is one of the key technologies that modern science has evolved from – through the invention of the lens. Glass is a medium that can be weightless and strong at the same time. It bends light and has interesting optical properties. So, when working with glass, I have a wild material that is like no other. This makes it a perfect medium for creating something poetic. Sometimes a very simple object can became multi-dimensional, when you use glass medium. There is for example the visual layer of glass: how does the glass reflect, how will the colors look in different light. Above all there are also the historical layers of glass which comprice the origin of Finnish glass making and the rare knowledge behind the craftsmanship. In jungle Collection that won the Golden Award from A'Design Award, every piece has a unique colour play inside the glass that mimics the movement of waves. Eaven I would try to create that same piece once again, it would be impossible.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
SM: I have a yearning to go to places that allow to see far. Finnish Lappland is ruggedly beautiful and there are so many awesome hike trails. I usually reach my flow, when I'm connected to nature.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
SM: Sometimes design process have private and deep levels of emotion. For example one of my light sculptures, Polar Night represents hope in the dark moments of life. As a natures phenomenon Polar Night accures when the sun stays under the horizon the whole day, day after day. But there is never completely dark, because snow reflects the light that remains. When there is only a small amount of light, it becomes sacred. I designed the lamp during the process of slowly losing my friend to ALS. So valuableness of time and feeling of letting go has been the origin of the sculpture. I wanted to reflect how silence of the calm winter landscapes of Lapland reflected my inner world. I used free-formed blown glass with Incalmo technique, metal and wood.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
SM: The World is so full of items that there must be something good in the design, if it’s spotted from the cascade of design. I believe that only the great design becomes iconic and sets new standards in its field. Good design also endures time, as it’s still awesome despite the passing of the years.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
SM: I believe that designers have responsibility to find new ways to create more sustainable products. There are so many levels in design that can be focused. For example by creating everyday objects that endure time. Studio made glass has always a touch of uniqueness in it. For example every drinking glass has in a way their own charisma and soul. This makes the moment when the glass is used special. These kind of items are passed on in the family, not just used once and tossed away.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
SM: My last exhibition was in Dubai during the Dubai art week. My green Rainforest glass vases were premiered in the exhibition. I really enjoyed the opening day. Meeting all the artists and designers was inspiring – let alone the great exhibition team that worked miracles helping with all the last minute hustle. The technique used in the green Rainforest vases is steam stick. It’s one of the iconic techniques from the golden era of Finnish glass design. My next exhibition opens tomorrow in Helsinki. At the moment I’m getting ready to exhibit my design in Tendence fair in June. I will be exhibiting a new concept lamp that combines glass, metal and ceramics. There is something wild and humorous in it. In September there will be Venice Glass Week and Paris Design week in my schedule. These international events are great platforms for meeting the right connections for the future.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
SM: My roots are in the countryside of Finland. I spent my childhood in Suonenjoki, a small town in Northern Savonia that is World famous for its annual Strawberry Festivals. I lived in an old farmhouse from the 19th century surrounded by strawberry fields and paddocks for horses. Our farm is by the lake. The purity of my childhood landscapes still inspires me in my art and this is where I return, if I need to find inspiration.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
SM: If I’m Skype-calling to Japan, the day usually starts at 6 am. Therefore I’m a true coffeeholic. This is also when I tap my 3D printer on and make some pictures that are later soaked in hot lava-like glass. I live and work in vibrant Helsinki that is always full of inspiration: clacking trams, jugend coffee shops and cobblestone streets. I take a ferry to a near by island, Suomenlinna, where I’m blowing my prototypes and test pieces - or a local train to Riihimäki that is a small town 50 kilometers from Helsinki, this is where I have my production at Mafka & Alakoski studio. The studio is build inside an old glass factory that has vine creepers on the red brick walls and beautiful old windows. This community of glass artists is welcoming everyone inside for a tall cup of coffee. My work day usually ends around 16 PM. I love to go kayaking in the summer. Eating a picnic in some of the islands with the family is a good way to relax. When our 2 year old boy falls asleep we sneak to the balcony with my husband. There is a clear view to Saturns rings and Jupiter’s Moons with our telescope.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
SM: I believe that one key to success is to find the unique feature from your work and focus on it. It might be the way you use the medium or a special new technique. Something that is fresh and unseen in the field. Then learn to put your thoughts into words and really talk about your design and what’s the cool factor in it.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
SM: One of my design objects, a mountain series got the inspiration from Scottish Highlands: It was freezing when I looked how the clouds spilled over the mountain slopes. It rained sideways when I made the first sketches but I wanted to capture that raw feeling into my sketch: objects which could form a mountainous landscape. In many ways I get my inspiration from the nature. When I first exhibited the Vuori glass mountains in Tokyo, I was so happy about the enthusiastic feedback and also to hear how the mountains are sacred in Japanese culture. It was great to see, how the glass design resonated in a totally new setting and the value of the design was understood so beautifully. I’m also working with glass in the setting of contemporary art. Many of my sculptural works are surreal narratives captured inside thick glass and have hidden details in them that can only be seen from exact angle. For example in Glass Axis, Ohio I exhibited a story from Finnish national epic Kalevala that was created by mixing up 100 years old graal technique and modern 3D design. When the story is drowned inside thick glass, the narrative becomes multidimensional as glass mirrors and distords the story. You can see behind and inbetween the layered images that are floating weightlessly. I feel that this makes glass sculptures more easy to approach, when people are examining them and looking for hidden details under the layrs of glass - it’s like solving a riddle.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
SM: This year is full of interesting exhibitions. For example in June I'll be attending the Tendence design fair in Frankfurt. In September it will be fun to exhibit also in Paris design week and Venice glass week.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
SM: Our dynamic team has real chemistry. Marja Hepo-aho and Kari Alakoski are master glassblowers that ensure that the quality of the glass pieces is always excellent. My brother Simo is a professional smith and in charge of the glass blowing mold making. Heidi-Hanna Karhu takes my product photos. I'm happy to have people working with me that are masters on their field!

FS: How can people contact you?
SM: People can contact me via my homepage www.sinimajuri.com and also by email info@sinimajuri.com. You can also find me via Facebook @SiniMajuriDesign and Instagram @sini_majuri. I’m happy to discover that people are interested to use glass in custom made interior installations to bring modern spirit into their homes. For example the Vuori glass mountains and Polar Night lamps are popular in customised installations in Japan. For a designer it is a great joy to see, how handshaped glass is welcomed into peoples homes!


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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