Göran Hongell

Göran Hongell 1902-1973

Göran Hongell was born in 1902 and studied painting before becoming a glass designer. After art school he established a decorative painting studio with a fellow student, specializing in designing posters and painted decorations for public areas. In 1932 he got hired by Karhula Glassworks as a designer to work on making existing models ready for serial production by redesigning and resizing the objects as well as patterns. He eventually also started producing his own work for the Karhula factory, such as stackable glassware series Silko, Säde and Maininki in 1936 and 1937. He also designed basic bowls and vases that were then engraved according to customer specifications. Besides his classic Aarne glasses, he is best known for his etched bowls and vases. He was well respected by the glassblowers at Karhula Glassworks for consulting with them on the technical aspects of his designs and ideas, and they developed special techniques and hues for his work.

In 1949, he designed his best known work, the single stage stemware glass Aarne, which remained in production until 1969. Iittala Glassworks started reproducing it in 1981. Hongell won a gold medal for Aarne at the Milan Triennale in 1954.