As part of my PhD research into craft practices in small regional communities, I spent December 2014 in beautiful Fiskars, 80km west of Helsinki, as as artist in residence. My continuing work here is part of my PhD research about the local craftspeople and their practices. I returned to Fiskars in August 2015 for four months of field work to continue this research.
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.