Friends of Finnish Handicraft (Suomen Käsityön Ystävät) is celebrating it's 130th anniversary this year. Anniversary was kicked off yesterday at their shop located in House of Kiseleff, Helsinki. A glass of bubbly and an interesting introduction to the history of the company nicely set the mood for the year.
The Friends of Finnish Handicraft was founded by Fanny Churberg with the idea of collecting and preserving finnish handcraft designs, knowledge and skills. Currently the main products are ready-made as well as do-it-yourself kits for embroidery and wall rugs. Throughout it's history the company has collected an archive of thousands of designs including the work of, for example, Akseli Gallen-Kallela, Eliel Saarinen, Eva Brummer, Helene Schjerfbeck. FFH also creates new tradition by working with current designers such as Elina Aalto of Fiasko Design and Paola Suhonen of Ivana Helsinki. Wonderful to see that old, good traditions and techniques are maintained, developed and have risen to new appreciation.
We picked our favorites from their current colletion:
(photos courtesy of the FFH)
Take a look at Eva Brummer's design Zeebra. Can you guess when it has been designed? When I found out the year, I almost fell off my chair. The design is so up-to-date and modern. 1950!
This one's always a classic: Liekki (the Flame), 1900.
Better known in blue, it was designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela originally for the World's Fair in Paris. It is also a famous part of the interior of the Hvitträsk mansion. Pictures don't do justice to the deep colours and grandeur of this jugend rug.
And finally a spirit of the 40's: an embroidered "Bluebird" pillow by Rut Bryk. There's something fresh and modern about this one too. Who says classic embroidery needs to be conservative and serious when it can be fun and playful?
Congratulations to the Friends of Finnish Handicraft! Keep up the good work!