A Field Guide to Birds by Toikka

A Field Guide to Birds by Toikka

Collaboration with Tahoma Audubon Society

Fnnish designer Oiva Toikka began the Birds by Toikka series in 1973, and since has designed and created over six hundred different species of birds. Much like birds in the wild, Birds by Toikka have unique names and can be categorized by color, tail shape, and other markings. To examine the connection between the glass sculptures and real-life birds, Museum of Glass partnered with the Willettes, a birding group with members affiliated to Tahoma Audubon Society, to create a display which evoked the connection between the glass sculptures and the bird species which inspired them.

Through the Willettes' research, each Iittala bird in the display has been matched with a specific genus and species of North American or European bird. Then, inspired by Oiva Toikka's original sketches, the Willettes curated groupings of birds based on two regional environments: the sea stacks of the Pacific Coast (on display on the Grand Hall wall), and the canopy and understory of the forest (in two cases by the Hot Shop cone). A Field Guide to Birds by Toikka was created to share more information about the bird species connected to each glass sculpture.