The Exhibitionists – What we saw in Fiskars

We balanced out all the eating and drinking we did in Fiskars Village by going to see some art (because art – (eating + drinking) = balance). Science.

First we visited ONOMA, the cooperative of artisans, designers and artists in Fiskars.  All members live or work in the village and the co-op organises exhibitions as well as running a store.

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The buildings in Fiskars are so grand and old, they really provide a wonderful backdrop for all that’s on display.

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In this case it was locally-produced homewares, jewellery, glassware and furniture.

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They also had answers to problems you didn’t know you had – like how to store your eggs in a fittingly stylish manner.

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There’s a cafe connected to the store and rooms out the back where you can sit and read.

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Next up, we visited We Love Wood(s)!, ONOMA’s summer exhibition at the Copper Smithy.

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Here, master woodcrafters such as cabinet makers and carpenters, teamed up with designers to create beautiful and practical objects for everyday use.

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Bowls by Matti Söderkultalahti

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Storage dishes by Susan Elo & Rudi Merz 

Some used traditional word-working methods, while others used modern technology such as laser cutting.

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Bench by Antrei Hartikainen & Sakari Hartikainen

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Omkring (space divider) by Mia Cullin & Petri Koivusipilä

We moved through to an adjoining warehouse, where there were larger pieces and an installation consisting of a circle of speakers, each broadcasting a different forest sound.

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Boat of pine, oak and tar by Jussi Nordberg

The next morning we rose early & explored the area around The Granary.

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We then went inside to visit their exhibition, Minun Kalevalani (My Kalevala).

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The Kalevala is Finland’s national epic, based on oral folklore and mythology. It is considered one of the nation’s most significant literature works and is said to have played an important part in the development of the Finnish national identity.

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In this show, 28 craftsmen from Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia used iron to present different parts or interpretations of the stories.

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We had a lovely time in Fiskars and strongly recommend a visit next time you are in Finland.

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I particularly liked these guys, who managed to combine all the elements of the shows (wood + art + Kalevala + iron), putting us back in credit, just in time for lunch.

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Fiskars Village

Upcoming event: Fire and Light  24.10.- 21.11.15

ONOMA

Kalevala 

Special thanks to Kaisa at Fiskars Info who provided tips on where to visit and liaised with the galleries, who gave us free entry to the exhibitions.

The Finnish icon in every home

Recently we visited Fiskars Village. You may not recognise the name but I’m pretty confident there’s something of theirs in your home right now.

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Just an hour west of Helsinki, Fiskars was established in 1649  around an ironworks factory. Other industrial buildings, such as a granary and cutlery factory were built and are now home to accommodation, stores and galleries.

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The town was built around a river that acted as a means of transport as well as a source of power. The village is now home to a community of artists and artisans who live and work locally.

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Walking around we felt as though we had landed inside a scene from a Finnish calendar. Part of its beauty also lies in the fact that unlike some Finnish towns, Fiskars is open all year round (days & hours change in winter).

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The old fire station is still standing and is now a theatre, with a tower that was once used to hang hoses out to dry.

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There’s an excellent modern playground as well as relics from the town’s past.

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We visited a candle shop housed in a former dairy, where we bought candles scented for Christmas.

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We also stopped by a brewery, housed in a former knife factory. We were interested to learn that some of their beers are made with New Zealand hops, as well as Finnish tar and spruce tips.

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Fiskars Village is very walkable – you don’t need a car – and there are places such as Petri’s Chocolate Room where you can stop to refuel.

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There are also lots of stores, selling jewellery, homewares, clothing and glass – most of which is handmade locally.

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After a wonderful afternoon we headed back to our accommodation for dinner in Finland’s longest continuously running hotel.

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And what is this Finnish icon you have in your home? Well Fiskars is also the name of the resultant company that still manufactures items for gardening, cooking and craft today.

In 1967 they designed the world’s first pair of plastic handled scissors, selling over a billion pairs since – was one of them to you?

Photo: Fiskars

Photo: Fiskars

Next week: The Exhibitionists (what we saw in Fiskars)

Fiskars Village

Fiskars (the company)