In the early 1980s, Iittala Glassworks director Juhani Kivikoski founded a training shop in the glassworks, where the skills of free-form glasswork could be passed down from masters to the younger glassblowers. Like many glassworks directors before him, Kivikoski understood the importance of handing down traditions as a means of preserving and developing glassworking skills. Without preserving these skills, development in the industry would wither and the unique character of Finnish glass would be in jeopardy. The control and shaping of molten glass, using only hand-held tools, are absolutely essential to a glassblower’s professional skill. This skill is only learned through practice and learning, and is a lifelong endeavour. Becoming a maestro is a slow process, involving constant trial and error, and revelation.
For all intents and purposes, Sarpaneva had moved into his glassworks. He worked with three chairs, each of whom worked a normal eight-hour shift. When one shift ended, Sarpaneva was on hand to lead the next one. Sarpaneva worked nearly non-stop, sleeping on a first aid stretcher for around 15 minutes at a time. When he woke up, he ate a piece of chocolate and a few pieces of salt liquorice and then got back to work. This intensive work phase lasted six weeks. A unique collection of art glass, which consisted of 64 different Claritas variations, was produced during this time.