Polar Byzantine

Rich in both character and narrative, the Polar Byzantine collection by Klaus Haapaniemi & Co. presents the art of storytelling through a series of beautifully crafted scarves.

The poetic story written by award winning Finnish author, Rosa Liksom tells lyrical animal story that evokes our inner feelings and connects our subconscious to universal nature. A true arctic odyssey. 

The hand bound collectors book contains the full story of Polar Byzantine and five designs printed on 100% silk, each one representing a chapter in the book. The scarves paint a vivid window into a dreamlike polar landscapes.

Narrated and animated by Vilja Achte, music by Lauri Porra.


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Polar Byzantine for Moooi Carpets launched in Salone del Mobile, Milan

The Polar Byzantine collection by Klaus Haapaniemi & Co. is storytelling in the form of rugs

Following on from the success of their previous partnership, Moooi have teamed with Klaus Haapaniemi for the second time with the release of a series of five rugs - adapting the designs from the recently launched 'Polar Byzantine' silk scarf collection. 

Inspired by the narrative of the original poetic story by award winning Finnish author, Rosa Liksom, each of the carpets tells the story of magical Arctic animals, fleeing the melting landscape to live in an ice palace far away. Thanks to Moooi's advanced high resolution printing methods, each carpet has achieved an almost three dimensional quality and colour vibrancy - drawing you into the mystical world of the 'Polar Byzantine'. The collection was subsequently launched in Milan as part of the Salone del Mobile. 


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Vulpes - Mystical foxes by Klaus Haapaniemi

Iittala’s glass blowing experts turn Haapaniemi’s Vulpes foxes into art glass objects, making his imaginative world come alive.


Iittala’s new Vulpes foxes are exquisite objects of contemporary glass art and are designed by Klaus Haapaniemi, an internationally known artist whose work is loved for his wondrous, imaginative visual worlds that combine nature, fairytales and fantasy to mystical elements.

His close collaboration with Iittala's skilled art glass teams have given birth to new collection of glass art based on artists detailed drawings.

The blowers have succeeded in the challenging task of creating mouth blown Vulpes objects. The foxes are made by combining complicated hot and cold working techniques using the highest precision. The artist’s vision, practiced techniques and the best-in-class blowers give the foxes their unique features and characteristics that hold true to Haapaniemi’s vision.

To Haapaniemi, the fox is an intriguing motif that connects to mythology. “Foxes are veiled by a certain mystery, though at the same time they are very common animals. The fox is portrayed in fairy tales and beliefs where it often outwits its opponents with its superior intellect, reminding us of the importance of independent thinking.”

In Finland the fox lights up the northern lights by swishing its tail in the night; in Japan foxes are messengers and the carriers of light. All this makes the fox a very special animal to explore, the artist says. “A fox transforms well to in to a glass object: the fragility and the transformation has both feminine and masculine elements, yet the same time difficult to craft, sometimes unpredictable and fragile material. Glass has foxy character.”

Klaus Haapaniemi´s Vulpes are true collectors´ items that will keep and increase their value over time. They are not only distinctive interior elements, but they also work, for example, as a centrepiece at the festive dinner table.

There are two foxes to choose from: a copper-coloured, standing Vulpes Red Fox and a blue-shaded Vulpes Silver Fox. A certificate of authenticity signed by Klaus Haapaniemi is enclosed with the product.

Klaus Haapaniemi has previously created two collections of unique glass objects for Iittala. He is best known for the decorative ceramic tableware Taika (2007) and Tanssi (2015) for Iittala.



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Klaus Haapaniemi tells about the concept and ideas behind the opera costumes

The visual concept opened to me as a ballroom like ensemble which would feel like a forest. To follow this it felt natural to visualise the costume design as clothing with references to history of fashion, not a specific time or style but a combination of many. The costume design had to stay light and be flexible and dynamic for moving on the stage but also be visually impactful and detailed with strong graphic silhouettes. It was very important to me to create costumes that would give a direction to the performers for their character studies.

I wanted to use natural materials like wool and silk as much as possible. It was really interesting to get to use the Opera ateliers, the costume studio, hat makers, the dye department and the cobblers are unique in their incredible skills.

My aim was to give each costume a recognisable character and it was strongly based on the hand sewn geometric patterns and the focal point of each outfit are the hats that give each costume their distinctive look. The hats are one of the most important parts of the whole visual concept of the Cunning Little Vixen. The hat like head pieces that are functional in the fast choreography are successful only because the incredible skill of their makers.

I divided the costumes in two categories in my mind. Animals and humans.
Animals I saw as naturally flamboyant creatures who shamelessly flaunt their decorative features and shine. The humans I wanted to show as simpler and modest and almost clumsy crowd who are identifying their social or professional status. Both groups I wanted to unify with graphic embroidery and patterns that would take this production from the world of Janacek to more scandinavian and nordic world with it’s own aesthetic.


the Fox and the Vixen
Main roles were in my mind a lot not only because they are on stage most of the time, but while sketching the characters they were the easiest. They look like they are naturally part of the whole set and pattern that runs through all the animals. Their silhouette is most streamlined, edgiest and most finalised. The stole like tails are coved in fringes and they help the performers to create coquettish and seductive Vixen and Fox their Cunning character. The fox cubs are a cute variation of their parents costumes.


The Badger
My interpretation of the badger is slightly introvert, noble loner in his own hole, and I associated the character in a Tudor world.

The Rabbits
I saw the rabbits more harlequin like compared to the more low-key animals. Also mixing the roles sexes made the characters more interesting. A detail I find amusing is the tail combined with a Scottish sporran.


The Frogs
The challenge for the frog costume was the wide trimmed hat which together with pleated shirt collar give an impression of the wide frog’s mouth. This was functionally challenging because the frogs jump and leap in the choreography.


The Owl
I wanted to make the owl one of the most stand out costumes, partly because it’s role is so short on stage. Starched laces make the owl look victorian which was an unusual subject for that time.

Just like the owl Jay is only a short but beautiful fleeting moment on the stage. I wanted to make the costume multilayered feather coat with metallic blue and pastel shades. The complicated cape/wing is layered on top and Jay is crowned with a light but humorous cap that looks like a red beak.


Guinea Fowl
I imagined guinea fowl as mysterious and provocative creature hiding partly behind a mask, bit like in archetypes of Commedia dell’arte, but also massive and comical presence. Hand beaded velvet cape and complex head piece makes the guinea fowl one of the most memorable characters in Cunning Little Vixen.

Hens and the Cock
Ones of the most successful in use of material and colour as well as fine dress making skills. Starting point for the hats was Inca head pieces. Decorations are based on simple and geometric patterns that are visible from back of the theatre.


The Woodpecker
The woodpecker is simple and graphic in it’s colour palette and silhouette which I think gives a hint of the singer’s vocal range. Silky materials and applications makes the costume shine like a feather coat and the high shoulders give the woodpecker strong and dramatic masculine/feminine attitude.


The Squirrel
I imagined the squirrel flirty but playful creature whose tail would be a kind of fur stole. I didn’t want to use fake or real fur for the costumes but we found an alternative in mohair wool.


The Hedgehog
The basis for the hedgehog was Denzil Ibbertson drawing of St. Hlelen prisoner Napoleon. I tried to convey the melancholic loneliness and stubbornness of that drawing.



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Tanssi continues to capture the magic and artistic work of Klaus Haapaniemi for Iittala


Tanssi means ‘dance’ in Finnish, and this new tableware collection, illustrated by London-based Finnish artist Klaus Haapaniemi, has been inspired by the visual designs he has created for the Finnish National Opera production of The Cunning Little Vixen, a Czech opera by Leoš Janáček. The production will be premiered in January 2015.

The sad yet beautiful story exploring the co-existence of animals, humans and the eternal cycle of life, comes alive in Haapaniemi’s rich designs on tableware created by pre-eminent Finnish designer Heikki Orvola.

The colourful inhabitants of the mystical forest captured on the tableware include a deer charming the forest with the sounds from his flute, a badger showing off in his fur coat and silk shoes, and the vixen and a fox dancing in the shadows of the trees. Reflections from both ancient Oriental and Slavic imagery, as well as traditional stories, shape this collection.

Tanssi also brings a new dimension to Iittala’s decorated tableware with a new colour palette. The earthy colours and detailed, distinctive pattern give collectors new items to covet. Tanssi makes a good addition to any current Iittala collection, and goes well with basic pieces such as Teema, or the everyday Kartio glasses. In addition to the ceramic pieces, the Tanssi range includes interior textiles, such as kitchen towels, and storage items, including a round tin box.


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Ovela Kettu Trailer

The Cunning Little Vixen

Leoš Janáček

A young vixen, or female fox, is captured by a forest ranger and obliged to learn to live among humans. The vixen finally escapes to freedom and the proper life of a fox, however short that may be. Featuring a cast of animal characters, this opera resembling a fairy tale is suitable for the whole family.

Leoš Janáček depicted tragic human characters in his works but also demonstrated a profound understanding of nature. The Cunning Little Vixen is an insightful study about the relationship between the restrictions of human life and the freedom of the animal kingdom.

A fantastically imaginative realisation of the colourful world of animals is presented in the opera set design début of internationally recognised designer Klaus Haapaniemi. The director and choreographer are Immo Karaman and Fabian Posca, who created the acclaimed production of Doctor Atomic.

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Klaus Haapaniemi pendant lights

Designed by Klaus Haapaniemi and Taneli Mansikkamäki and Made in Finland from polished brass, with clear lacquer and American walnut, these artistic pendant lights will be shown in three designs and sizes: bee, bat and pinecone, with the motifs created by small perforations in the brass. When the light is off the designs are subtle and intriguing; when turned on the light shines through the tiny holes making for an ethereal glow. 

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Bloom collection for Nikari


Limited-edition range of upholstered wood sofas in collaboration with the Finnish sustainable-wood furniture brand, Nikari. Klaus Haapaniemi and Nikari are re-launching the limited-edition redesign of Nikari’s classic JRA3 as BLOOM sofa during this month’s London Design Festival. Haapaniemi has customized the popular birch sofa with an angled back engraved by Nikari craftsmen with a series of original patterns. The soft elements have been upholstered in Haapaniemi’s new Nocturnal Bloom fabrics, also launching this month.

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