Ella Varvio is an artist-designer working with comics art, illustration, ceramics and glass. She has specialized in glass art combining illustration and glass. Her art takes inspiration from nature, myths, literature, art history and contemporary culture. Her art often plays with the mystical nature of glass and exploits material’s aesthetics: transparency, vivid colors and the pure beauty.
Varvio approaches glass and illustration from the viewpoint of storytelling. She aspires to create surreal scenes that do not reveal everything on one look. Artworks that requires the viewer to stop, are a quiet way to comment on hectic consuming of images.
Varvio has graduated as Master of Arts at Aalto University, School of Art, Design and Architecture in 2015. She is based in Tampere, Finland and most of her designs and artworks are made in close co-operation with Finnish craftsmen. In her glass art Varvio explores different variations of Graal technique: engraving, painting, prints and air bubbles trapped inside layers of glass. The technique creates a sense of depth and looking into another world.
Varvio’s art has been featured in international exhibitions such as Talents at Tendence Design Fair, Frankfurt, European Glass Experience touring exhibition in Finland and in Murano, Italy, and Handmade Scandinavian Glass Starting All Over touring exhibition in Scandinavia. In 2018 Ella Varvio is one of the artist-in-residence at the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York and in the fall she has her solo exhibition at the Finnish Glass Museum.
To contact: ella.varvio(at)gmail.com
- 2015 Master of Arts, Applied Art and Design, Aalto University
- 2012 Bachelor of Arts, Ceramic and Glass Design, Aalto University
- 2008 Tyrvää School of Arts and Crafts, studies of goldsmith’s profession
- 2018 Adventures, The Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki, Finland
- 2018 Surreal City, ChasHaMa space for artists, 266 w 37th street, New York, USA
- 2017 Nemeton, Galleria Mafka&Alakoski, Helsinki, Finland
Selected group exhibitions
- 2017 Handmade Scandinavian Glass Starting All Over, The Glass Factory, Sweden
- 2016 Symposium exhibition, Goszthony Kuria, Bardudvarnok, Hungary
- 2016 Talents, Tendence design fair, Messe Frankfurt, Germany
- 2016 Space of Fire, group exhibition, Yelagin Palace, St.Petersburg, Russia
- 2016 Peep show, glass art exhibition, Nuutajärvi Glass Village, Finland
- 2016 Rikki -stories on mental health, Third Space Gallery, Helsinki, Finland
- 2015 Comic Art in Glass, The Finnish Glass Museum. Riihimäki, Finland
- 2015 Young, glass art exhibition, Glas Galerie Leerdam, Netherlands
- 2015 Comic art in glass, Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Toronto, Canada
- 2015 European Glass Experience, group exhibition, Museo del Vetro, Venice, Italy
- 2015 Finnish Glass Lives 7, group exhibition, The Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimäki,
- 2014 Sini Majuri & Ella Varvio, glass art exhibition. Uudenmaankatu 4-6. Helsinki
- 2014 Lasinen sarjakuva, glass art exhibition, Helsinki Comic Art Festival, Helsinki
- 2014 Puritan Beauty, Design Forum Finland, Showroom, Helsinki
- 2014 European Glass Experience, group exhibition. The Finnish Glass Museum.
- 2012 Katso kuvat, lue myös teksti, exhibition on comic arts, Kirjasto 10, Helsinki
- 2012 Arts Exposed! group exhibition and event, WDC Pavilion, Helsinki
Selected articles and publications
- 2018 Seikkailuja, article in the Finnish Glass Yearbook, Riihimäki
- 2016 Rikki -art on mental health, comic book publication by artists collective, Helsinki
- 2015 Conscience of glass – Makers of artistic and artisan glass in Finland: realities, vocation and relationship with the industrial past. Master’s Thesis. Aalto University
- 2015 Magical comic story comes alive in glass. Article and video report. YLE. Helsinki
- 2015 Helsinki-based duo create comic strips from blown glass vases for Toronto comics festival, Article, Urban Glass. USA
- 2015 Tulintu crafts glass sculptures depicting folklore tale firebird, Article, Designboom
- 2015 Helsingin Sanomat. Article. Arabian lasipajalla syntyy lasinen sarjakuva –ehkä ensimmäisenä maailmassa. Helsinki
- 2015 TL-Magazine. Article. Comic art in glass. Belgium.
- 2015 The Glass Art Magazine. Article. Sini Majuri & Ella Varvio. Combining Comic Book Art with Graal glass. USA
Artworks in Collections
- 2016 Former Rulers, Nemzetközi Üveg Alkotótelep, Hungary
- 2016 Wasteland, The Finnish Glass Museum, Finland
- 2015 Frank Shuman’s Cat, Commissioned work with Sini Majuri, University of Helsinki
- 2015 Huone, Commissioned work with Sini Majuri, Aalto University, Finland