Tapio Wirkkala described his manner of working as follows:

"I base my work on intuition, immediate understanding…

Designing an object entails drawing and correcting.

The making of many different models, and correcting and drawing again. There can be hundreds of sketches. 

And all this work does not even lead anywhere...

If the mark of the designer's sweat can be seen in an object, that piece has failed.

The work must not be seen in the completed piece."

Wirkkala was often inspired by nature. The foundations of his work were his wide scope and skills of the hand. He has been compared to the master craftsmen of the past.

Tapio Wirkkala drew a great deal, but he also wanted to study personally the various stages of making objects, for example glassblowing.