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One of the most important figures in
Finish jewellery design Elis Kauppi’s
vision of a new jewellery style
inspired a generation of designers and
launched Finland onto the international
jewellery design scene.
In 1945, in Turku, Finland at the age of 24 ,
Kauppi started his renowned jewellery workshop
named Kupittaan Kulta. He was part of a young
group of makers which would forever change the
face of jewellery design. Kauppi's drive to innovate
originated from the difficult circumstances of the war and a desire to break out of the
usual standards of jewellery design of that time.
The War and the Innovation of the Kupittaan Kulta Workshop
Finnish jewellery ingenuity was greatly tested during the
second world war and it was reported that even when
glass beads and stones were hard to obtain during the war
that the Kupittan Kulta workshop melted down coloured pin
heads to provide jewellery accents and Finish granite was upgraded
to a precious stone. Below : L to Right: Kupitaan Kulta jewellery including
silver and amethyst flower pendant, the "Mountain Stream" necklace and
a modernist Kupittan Kulta brooch
Elis Kauppi was one of the first designers to use local stones
such as spectrolite and granite. Spectrolite is related to
labradorite , a feldspar which is quarried and cut in Ylamaa, Finland.
It is a dark blue stone with an iridescent schiller which looks superb
in silver settings. These materials were incorporated into original
designs in an innnovative and fresh manner. The exciting results attracted
Kauppi, representing Finland, started exhibiting
internationally in the 1950's winning prestigious awards. His "Mountain Stream"
necklace which featured cascading bubbles of spectrolite and rock crystals
was an example of his original craftsmanship. The anvil benchmark beside the
Turku town stamp are identifying marks for this designer and his company.
Attention to simplicity and form was at the heart of Kauppi's jewellery designs
.Kauppi’s designs emphasised abstraction, and being a true modernist he
he rejected the previously popular naturalistic forms of the forties which focused on
flower and leaf type designs. With great emphasis on craftsmanship
his strong and bold jewellery designs remain strikingly relevant to this day.