If the subject of 20th-century Finnish modern art comes up, one name stands out above all others, Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985). The multi-talented Tapio gained legendary fame for his applied industrial art in widely differing mediums. Among other feats, he designed Finlandia’s vodka bottle, glassware for iittala, and currency for the Finnish government. His talents can be found applied to stoneware, precious gems and metal jewelry, even basic wood utensils and furniture.
Tapio is also said to have been fond of carving working models of projects with a traditional Finnish “puukko” knife. It should probably come as no surprise then that Hackman, once one of the largest Finnish knife companies, asked the artist to design a sheath knife for them during the early 1960’s.