Teak artists and manufacturers in Finland

Little has been written about the use of teak and other hardwood materials in industrial design in Finland. Denmark and Sweden have made a bigger mark and they did also have a much larger production. In this post I’m focusing on smaller object although some Finnish manufacturers made furniture in both solid teak and veneer.

I have written about teak in general and about the manufacturer Backman earlier.  Here are some other prominent artists and manufacturers.

 

Sakari Pykälä (1926-1996)

In the 1950’s Pykälä worked as an glass artist at Riihimäki glass works making art and serial production objects.

He also worked with wood creating large sculptures and smaller decoration objects during the 1960-1970’s. The theme was often various kinds of birds but he also made bowls such as the ones in the image below.

SakariPykälä

 

Eino Mattila (1912-1971)

Eino Mattila from Riihimäki (1912-1971) worked at Riihimäen Lasi as a wood mould maker up until 1958. Among others he created the moulds for Nanny Still’s glass objects. Nanny Still also made a glass bowl – teak tray combination but I don’t know if Mattila played a part in it. After Riihimäki he started his own company, which was active until the late 1960’s. In his own shop he mainly manufactured salad bowls, different sized teak plates and candle holders. Eino Mattila’s products were principally sold at Stockmann’s department stores in Helsinki and Tampere.

 

einomattila

 

Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985)

Wirkkala used teak in many of his creations often combining it with silver or using it  to add details to small goods and furniture. He also made solid teak objects in the shape of bowls like the one below for Asko, where he worked as a freelance designer. It is a rare curiosity though.

Wirkkala teak

 

Yki Nummi (1925-1984)

Nummi mainly worked at Orno making lamps and light fixtures most often using plastic but sometimes combining it with teak. He also made household items at Sanka such as trays and bowls, usually combining acrylic with teak or rosewood. From 1958 to 1974 he also worked at the Tikkurila paint factory specialising in color development. Nummi’s work is always marked with stickers which makes items hard to identify if the sticker has come loose.

 

yki nummi teak

 

Bertel Gardberg (1916-2007)

Gardberg was trained in Denmark, which explains his exceptional skills in woodworking, and opened up his own shop in Helsinki  in the late 1940’s. Initially he worked on industrial design objects and interior for churches. Church would even become his speciality and it is what he is best known for. He skilfully combined steel, silver and wood in his work and often used teak.

gardberg

 

Luhti Oy (1934-   )

Luhti Oy was founded in 1934. The company has always been in Helsinki, first in Kallio, then in Sörnäinen and from the 1950’s onwards in Vartioharju. The company mainly focused on wood turning partly by hand but also using automated machines.  They made wooden handles and railing, furniture parts and also Mekano toys for a number of years. During the 1970’s plastic objects replaced wood and Luhti started focusing on interiors and furniture. The company still exists today.

Luhti Oy teak

 

Lindholm Oy

Very little is known about Lindholm but they made trays, bowls, serving plates and other household items, often combined with glass objects by Nuutajärvi or Kumela. The factory was founded by Olof Lindholm in 1957 and it was located in Dragsfjärd in the west of Finland. The company changed its name to Oy Wilhelm Wood Ab in 1978. Their objects are always marked Lindholm Bangkok-Teak Made In Finland.

Lindholm teak

 

Lainisalo (1984 –    )

I know little about the company but I’ve found that they have a factory in Tuusula which was founded in 1984 and it seems to still be around. As far as I know they only made plates in teak veneer and I know of only one other company by the name of N.C.C, which also made plates in teak. There are many other companies which made pressed plates but they used only domestic kinds of wood.

 

 

Lainisalo Tuusula teak

 

Nanny Still (and Bertel Gardberg) at Norrmark / Noormarkku (1961-1977)

Noormarkun Käsityöt (Noormarkku Handicraft) was started by Artek founder Maire Gullichsen and silver smith Bertel Gardberg in 1961 and it was situated in one of the houses at the Noormarkku ironworks. The thought was to improve the state of handicraft in the region and involved were also the designer Nanny Still and Birgitta Berg. Initially the production consisted of turned wood objects but later on rugs and furniture were also produced. The wooden objects are all marked with the Noormarkku / Norrmark N and with the name Finnmade.

Nanny Still Noormarkku Norrmark Käsityöt Finnmade

Nanny Still is mostly known for her glass objects but she also made some other items out of wood such as salad servers. Bertel Gardberg was already known as a teak artist and he kept on making similar items after Noormarkun Käsityöt was closed in 1977.

bertel gardberg noormarkku finnmade

 

Reino Jauhiainen – Sotkamo

I recently found one artist completely unknown to me – Reino (R.) Jauhiainen from Sotkamo / Tipasoja. He must have a professional production seeing he had his own logo in the shape of a capercaillie and he brought teak from Thailand (Bangkok Teak).  I’m trying to find more info.

R. Jauhiainen Sotkamo

So there you have it. These are the main Finnish artists and companies working with teak that I know of. There are many many more that made decorative or useful objects out of wood but they used birch or pine so I left them out. If you have anything to add, please comment!

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