Some glow in the middle of darkness: hot glass! I had been hoarding some graal blanks for months and now it was time to make the ready pieces.

I’ve been creating drawings about sacred groves – important feature in many myths and many cultures: Finns, Celts, Slavic, etc. have considered forests and trees to be sacred. However these illustrations aim to be imaginative and mythical: they depict a mishmash of imaginary cult practices and realistic trees and animals. Sacred grove will be the theme my solo exhibition in Helsinki next spring. Stay tuned!

On the foreground Springtime Witch (2016) – mouthblown glass, Graal technique, made in Riihimäki, Finland.


It’s probably no surprise that I draw constantly and I possess several sketchbooks. I process thoughts by drawing, and not all of my drawings are ambitious or finished. Now that I’m planning art pieces for next year’s exhibitions, so I decided to have a look into my sketchbooks, so here are some samplings!

I apologize the ungraceful copyright texts, but I have encountered a company selling my pics as prints without my permission… So these drawings are here for you to look, comment, get inspired, share on-line or to ask my services as an illustrator -not to print and use commercially.

The first drawing Kuolemankukka has to do with human’s and nature’s relationship and way we poison our surroundings and ourselves. The second drawing was inspired by The Rite of Spring -the ballet, where dancers make expressive mad jumps. The third drawing can be titled as Housewarming party and the last drawing… well it’s just about the great feeling of  Disbelief.


An intensive week as artist-in-residence at International Glass Studio, Bárdudvarnok (Nemzetközi Üveg Alkotótelep) is over! I spent the week in Hungarian countryside creating art at the studio in small village of Bárdibükk. I definitely got new ideas to bring home. Here below some of the new pieces: Jonathan Swift’s Horse and Stressed out, made with glassblower James Carcass.

…not really, more like planting the bulbs for next season. I have been casting plaster at ceramic studio in Tampere and then I managed to deal myself a very very fine wooden mold from a retired carpenter. So here you are, in this posting you can feast your eyes in pics of good old Nuutajärvi:

You know where I’m going next? I’m proud to announce that I’ve been granted with a week long artist-in-residency at the International Glass Studio in Bárdudvarnok, Hungary! Woop woop!

Some works from exhibitions have returned and it’s time to get studio photos. These dark, graphic, bold artworks were made for Nuutajärvi summer exhibition – and they present fleshy, somewhat unromantic sexual encounters. Back to animal instincts and so forth… I admit being doubtful with revealing this works, yet it seemed to pay off to merge explicit illustration together with crafted glass art.

These heavy glass pieces (black overlay colour, graal technique!) were made at Mafka&Alakoski glass studio in Riihimäki in co-operation with glassblower master Kari Alakoski. Photos: Joonas Tähtinen

I feel so lucky! Because of European Glass Context 2016 -conference I spent some sunny and compelling days on the picturesque island of Bornholm, Denmark.

At the conference I present my study Conscience of glass from last year. It is a report on Finnish glassmaking today and an insight into realities and mindset of contemporary glassmakers. I am proud to have had the chance to present the research now at Bornholm for international audience of glass people. The full study can be read by clicking here to: Aaltodoc.

Besides the conference I attended The Glass Virus -educational think tank and visited the openings of the exhibitions of European Glass Context. Great people, interesting conversations, beautiful diversity of glass artworks… what would one wish for more! I don’t feel at all like leaving the island.


Thank you Frankfurt and Tendence fair 2016! It was a good learning experience to present art in big design fair context and I was pleased to have future contacts, positive feedback and interesting talks with the fair visitors.

Here’s a picture gallery of the works I had on display:

Inquiries about the designs: ella.varvio(at)

Next destination: Frankfurt am Main, Germany! I’ll be presenting story-driven ceramic and glass design, all handmade in Finland! Welcome to see how mermaids, ghosts and fairy tales dive into the buzzing international fair center in sleek Frankfurt!

My stand can be found within Talents-exhibition in hall 9.0. The fair is open 27-29.8. 9am-6pm, on 30.8. 9am-5pm.

Click for more info about Tendence 2016 and Messe Frankfurt:

What an adventure! I just spend two weeks in the middle of nowhere (somewhere close to Gdov, Russia). I attended International Ecofest 2016 – workshop of ceramics, glass and metal with the theme of recycling. It was cool to see how people experimented with the materials. Here’s a piece I made together with St.Petersburg based glass artist Igor Frolov with very elementary glass furnace (now I know how to build one on my backyard):

For real, respects to this ultimate DIY guy! All in all there were super interesting artist participating the event and the results can be seen in the premises of Yelagin Palace, in St.Petersburg in exhibition that opens on 19th of August.

Even I went for experimenting and did a test on melting glass scrap on ceramics, here’s a close-up:

Here’s a summery scene of the lake near to my home. Lately I’ve been going back to a dear old theme in my art: shady waters, ghost and mermaids lurking under the surface.

Some of these “deep water” glass pieces will be on display at Talents -exhibition at Messe Frankfurt in the end of August alongside with my ceramic designs.

To be honest my summer has been far from lazy: I’ve been preparing a work (an engraved mirror!) for Rikki-exhibition at Third Space Gallery in Helsinki 28.8.-4.9.2016. Rikki is a collaborative project, which showcases art about mental disorders by several artists.  The main objective has been about removing stigma out of mental illnesses.

For more info:

Here’s now smy new stuff from this spring, Gloomy Mermaid and Distressed Deer: