nora kinnunen

REDIRECTIVE DESIGNER, RESEARCHER

Fiskars Artist in Residence

I am spending December 2014 in beautiful Fiskars, 80km west of Helsinki,as as artist in residence. My work here is part of my PhD research about the local craftspeople and their practices. During my time here I am taking the opportunity to learn about the village and the people that live and work here.

Fiskars is an old ironworks village with an industrial history that began in 1649. While heavy industry has since moved out, the rich culture built through the centuries of industry, manufacture, agriculture and forest management is still significant as it is evident in the buildings, surrounds and its people. This ‘Ruukki’ (working village) as it has always been, and still is, known as, is home to approximately 600 people. Of these residents a large portion work in the creative field. The local artists, designers and artisans cooperative has currently 116 members. The village functions as a ‘living ironworks village’ with the local craftspeople, artists and designers providing an attractive community both to live in and to visit.

My PhD is concerned with how craftspeople reconcile their creative practice with the demands of the external business environment. Being ideologically tied to craft practice I am most interested in how the structures of society may enable craft practitioners to sustain their practice in the future.  Fiskars is particularly interesting as a study because over the last 30 years as creative people have visited this place, many have decided to stay on as residents and establish their practice here, hence contributing to the local economy and community. The reasons they are attracted to Fiskars I am sure are varied and may concern family, creativity, economics, quality of life, idealism, values, community, nature… How can it be ensured that the values that hold craft practitioners to their work are maintained? There are many interesting elements to investigate here…

Fiskars ruukki
Fiskars ruukki.

Fiskars AiR
Fiskars Artist in Residence accommodation.