Riikka Haapasaari

Riikka Haapasaari

The symbiotic relationship between glassmaking and filmmaking in creative practice.

This practice-based research project is an investigation into combining filmmaking and glassmaking traditions in making artistic work that expands both traditions and builds bridges between them, resulting in a comprehensive study of the work that has been done utilizing aspects from both traditions up to today, and a body of new moving image work including short films and a feature-length project. The aim is to show how a combination of knowledge and skills both in glassmaking and filmmaking can be the source of truly unique, insightful and contemporary work, the research eventually providing valuable information and a resource for the creative field at large, and answering topical concerns for educational and artistic purposes.

The core of the whole research project is a feature-length moving image project that will draw from earlier findings of the research – pushing the boundaries of what is possible within glass-informed moving image practice. Early stages of the whole project focus more on building a comprehensive understanding of moving image in glass up to today: including data collection, interview studies, analysis, and screenings.

Moving image has steadily gained popularity within the field of glass in the recent years, demonstrating that there is a real need for this research. It is no longer only the glass artists who are involved with moving image as a supplementary outlet for their creative aspirations: Ateliers d’Art de France has been organising the “International Film Festival on Crafts” since 1998, the UK Crafts Council’s “Real to Reel the Craft Film Festival” is in its second round in 2017, and traditionally glass-oriented exhibition venues are including moving image works in their exhibitions.

The purpose of this research is to answer to a range of questions on the nature of moving image as a part of the glass field. What are the qualities of a professional, good piece of moving image that utilizes skills from glassmaking? To what extent glass, the skills and knowledge about the traditions can be used in relation to making moving image and intangible work? How much is there value in investing time and resources to develop reasonable fluency in both glassmaking and filmmaking? How does this kind of work contribute to the field of glass? What are the differences between a moving image work and a moving image work that is informed by glassmaking processes?


I work within the extended field of glass, utilizing my knowledge and skills in both glassmaking and filmmaking. This is also where my research interests are: how can we build upon a rich history of glassmaking, making contemporary work that respects and draws from the heritage while creating new avenues for the (glass) artist?

I have completed a number of residencies and fellowships such as the Kanik Chung Legacy Fellowship (MassArt 2016), Edinburgh College of Art AiR (2014-15), and Sincresis Association AiR (2013). Recently I have been nominated for the Saxe Emerging Artist Award (Glass Art Society, USA), Irwin Borowsky International Prize in Glass Arts (University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA), and Margaret Tait Award (Scotland). Latest publications featuring my work include the New Glass Review 38, WomenCinemakers vol. VI, and the Finnish Glass Yearbook 2017.

I show my work globally in exhibitions and festivals – in 2017 my work can be seen as a part of “Young Glass 2017” (touring: Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, The Glass Factory), “Scandinavian Glass Starting All Over” (touring: The Glass Factory, Finnish Glass Museum), and “New Stories” (Gallery Meno Parkas, Lithuania). In 2017 I am also preparing for my upcoming solo shows later in 2018.