New from the iconic Finnish brand Iittala, the Tanssi tableware series features illustrations by Finnish artist Klaus Haapaniemi. The group of dishes, plates, mugs, and other decorative pieces were inspired by Haapaniemi’s visual designs for the Finnish National Opera production of The Cunning Little Vixen, a Czech opera by Leoš Janácek that premiered in January 2015. The story, which looks at the co-existence of animals and humans and the eternal circle of life, comes alive on tableware shapes created by Finnish designer Heikki Orvola. Reflections from both ancient Oriental and Slavic imagery, as well as traditional stories appear in the drawings of deers, badgers, vixen, and foxes. The earthy color palette coordinates with all current Iittala glassware, including the brand new desert color now available for the Aalto vase. All images courtesy of Iittala.
The Hanagasumi series of tableware, from the Monochro design studio, is made of cherry bark in a 200-year-old craft technique that originated in Kakunodate, Japan. The series includes the square-shaped Hanagusumi tray, a matching moisture-proof box, wooden teacups, and canisters that are suitable for preserving tea leaves and coffee beans. I like the version with the colorful bands on the canisters and cups — a grouping of these on a shelf would look so serene.