The Ilustrated Guide to Finnish Silver Jewellery Designers

16/05/2019 196 0 0


Interested in Finnish silver jewellery? Check out our
illustrated guide to the top jewellery designers from Finland


1) Bjorn Weckstrom/Lapponia 

Bjorn Weckstrom (1935 -)  was a Finnish jewellery designer and sculptor. He originally
wanted to train as a sculptor , however family opposition resulted in a change in direction.
He studied at Helsinki's Goldsmith school graduating  in 1956. At first his work reflected
the clean Scandinavian design ethos , however by the 1960's, Weckstrom had developed his
own style which was more sculptural than traditional goldsmithing  Asymmetrical forms, rough
matt surfaces, and uncut semi precious stones featured in his designs , often taking
inspiration from the natural world.

In 1963 Weckstrom began working with jewellery manufacturuer 
Kruunu-Koru Oy (who later
Lapponia Jewelleryand its owner Pekka Antilla. Weckstrom became the firms art
director and designer. In 1969 he won first prize at a prestigious international jewellery competition
in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, for his tourmaline and yellow gold necklace "Flowering Wall". This important
award brought recognition to the Lapponia firm and launched its success around the world.Three
years later he was also the winner of the Lunning prize. 
In the early seventies Lapponia launched
the Flame Bronze Collection. This was  designed by Weckström and the collection comprised 7 pendants,
8 rings, 3 bracelets and 4 belts. The name Flame Bronze was derived from the special patina surface of
the pieces. W
eckstrom succesfully balanced his carreer between sculpture and jewellery. He considered
his bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces and rings as tiny sculptures. 

David Andersen green enamel leaves necklace    Marianne Berge pendant for David Andersen    David Andersen blue white enamel fish brooch
Weckstrom "Flowering wall"                 Weckstrom acrylic and           Weckstrom gold and pearl ring
necklace yellow gold + tourmaline        silver  pendant


2) Matti Hyvarinen/Sirokoru

Matti Hyvarinen is a renowned and talented Finnish jewellery designer. He began his career
working at his fathers workshop. In 1958 at age of 21 he set up his own company Sirokoru
producing his own particular style of jewellery. He has produced many items of beautiful jewellery
featuring his distinctive , bold and modern designs. He has won many jewellery awards from around
the world including the RJA Presidents Display Award New York 1977, Goldsmith of the Year 1987 
Finland, and the 15th Novum Calender Competiton Award, 1990 in Munchen.
The Sirokoru Ltd company continues to grow and produce beautiful jewellery.

Matti J Hyvarinen textured                Matti J Hyvarinen silver ring             Matti J Hyvarinen modernist
 silver bracelet                                                                                            silver bracelet

3) Kuppittan Kulta

The Finnish company Kuppittan Kulta was at the forefront of Finnish jewellery design and their
 visionary style launched Finland onto the international jewellery design stage . Founded by
Ellis Kauppi in 1945 at the age of 24, the company promoted a new style of jewellery. Their bold
modern sculptural forms rejected the naturalist leaf and flower designs of the 1940's. Local materials
such a spectrolite and granite were incorporated in simple modern forms. Their work attracted
worldwide attention and they were the winners of several prestigious jewellery prizes . For more 
information  see this Kuppittan Kulta Jewellery.

   Kuppitan Kulta  bracelet  Ellis Kaupi agate sterling ring
Kuppitaan Kulta amethyst           Silver and spectrolite bracelet         Agate and sterling silver ring
and silver flower pendant


4) Kalevala Koru

The Finnish company Kalevala Koru is renowned for their reproductions of historic jewellery
artefacts discovered at archaeological sites. Established in 1935 they began by producing replicas
of Viking and crusader jewellery. They went on to become a major force in modern Finnish jewellery
design.  In the 1940's they held jewellery design competitions to celebrate new ideas in a very 
conservative post war market. The company  continued to highlight important links to the past . They
reproduced a  cast bronze pendant with a stylised Thor's hammer with typical little knobs (simplified
versions of Scandinavian animal heads),  and dangling charms. Reproductions of horseshoe brooches,
which adorned men and woman during the 11th century crusades as cloak or veil fastenings were 
produced. The company continues today in the form of Kalevala ( with a range of
contemporary jewellery  and historical style pieces.


Kalevala Koru bronze pendant    Pentti Sarpaneva for Kalevala Koru     Kalevala modern day -
                                                                                                                  "Galactic peaks necklace"

5) Pekka Piekainen

Pekka Piekainen  (1945 – 2004) was a leading Finnish silver jewellery designer. His parents owned a
jewellery and watch store in Helsinki and he first learned his skills at his fathers workshop. In the 1960's
he began his career working with Kaunis Koru. He then moved on to Auran Kultaseppa (the second oldest
silver factory in Finland), where he worked from 1971 to 1989, as head designer and artistic director.
In the early nineties he started own business named PlatinOro. Piekainen's pieces exhibited a smooth, clean ,
sleek, timeless style with geometric shapes and lines. He produced many items including bracelets, rings,
earrings, silverware and bracelet watches. He also contributed to the watch designs of Omega, Tissot, and
Lanco. In 1979 Piekainen was awarded the state design  prize, and in 2002 he was recognised as a Finnish
pionneer by the Finnish Goldsmith Association for the first series of design watches made for large scale

Pekka Piekainen Finland lapis silver ring  Pekka Piekainen silver collar necklace  
Pekka Piekainen jewellery:  Lapis and silver ring, silver collar necklace  and modernist silver ring

6) Kaija Aarikaa

Kaija Aarikka  (1929-2014) ,studied textile design at the Industrial Arts school in Finland. After graduation
she manufactured wooden buttons from the Finnish forests to go with her fabrics, This progressed
into functional wood and silver jewellery .She founded her company "Aarikka" with her husband Erkki
Ruokonen in 1954. Many of the pieces were made of wood but she also used silver and glass in her
designs.The functional  wood and silver jewellery was very succesful in Sweden.  One set in the 1960's
featured distinctive silver earrings which used wire to curl around and into the ear like ear muffs, and also
had a matching ring. 
In 1994, Kaija was awarded the prestigious Pro Finlandia Medal . Then in 1999, she was
the recipient of  Finnish honorary title of ’kauppaneuvos’ by the then President of the Republic of Finland.


7) Bjorn Rajalin 


Bjorn Rajalin (1933- )studied art metalwork with Bertel Gardberg. In 1956 he became head designer for Kavela Koru
where he made all the prototypes for serial production. In 1958 he, Berterl Gardberg, Ellis Kauppi, and Eero
Rislakki took part in an avant garde exhibition which received great press attention and international recognition
for its participants. Rajalin's contributions were clean and simple twists of silver around the neck and a hinged
silver bracelet with a large spectrolite stone. In the Sixties his style took a different direction. He produced less
functional jewellery including  decorative bracelets with large clusters of garnet, rose quartz, and smokey quartz

   Bjorn Rajalin 1973 for Kalevela Koru  Bjorn rajalin amethyst necklace an earrings set

Bjorn Rajalin silver necklace            Bjorn Rajalin  silver collar          Bjorn Rajalin amethyst necklace and
for Kalevala Koru                             19723 for Kalevala Koru           earrings 1989 for Kalevala Koru

8) Hannu Ikonen

Hannu Ikonen's refined and striking jewellery designs have become iconic amongst modernist jewellery
design. Hannu Ikonen worked for the Finnish jewellery firm Valo-Koru during the 1970's producing pieces
in both bronze and silver  His famous "Renmoosblüte" or
reindeer moss pieces have a sculptural quality
in their modern interpretation of natural forms.The bronze jewellery pieces designed by Ikonen were usually
 marked "MADE IN FINLAND" and had no other marks. 

HANNU IKONEN bracelet   Hannu Ikonen Reindeer moss pendant   Hannu Ikonen necklace
Hannu Ikonen Reindeer moss bracelet, reindeer moss pendant, and necklace 

8) Saara- Hopea-Untracht

Saara Hopea-Untracht grew up in Porvoo, Finland, the oldest town in Finland, which has long been home 
to an artistic community of artisans and writers. Saara came from four generations of goldsmiths , however,
she found contemporary jewellery to be uninspiring and she chose to study interior design, graduating from
the Central School  of Industrial Design in Helsinki. She worked with Kaj Frank, an internationally renowned
designer at Notsjo glassworks from 1952, however, after her fathers death in 1958, her work changed
direction from furniture and glassware towards jewellery design. She collaborated with goldsmith Goran
Ahlberg who encouraged her unusual ring designs which had silver type wings spread across three fingers.
These rings were produced in limited editions of around 20 from 1958 to 1970. 

After a trip to India Saara incorporated the traditional knitted silver chains she had seen there into her pendant
and necklace designs, making the chains herself from specially drawn wire. Her amazing detailed silver pendant
"Two Birds" featuring two birds sharing a garnet berry was made of twisted silver wires, sheet metal, and
flattened knitting tubes.  Her early designs were influenced by geometric shapes, pyrmaids and domes seen in
Indian Architecture.  In 1983 Saara designed  serial production jewellery to go with Marimekko hand woven
dresses. These oxidised silver pendants featuring gold plated roses were mounted on green or black, or
pink Japanese silk cord and were sold at the Marimekko shop in Helsinki.

The makers mark seen on her jewellery pieces was generally "OH" for silver smith Ossian Hopea, the metal
standard purity mark (830 or 925), along with the place mark for Porvoo, and the date letter. 
Married to the
American author, photographer and artisan
Oppi Untracht she spent some time living in New York
before making Finland her home in
Saara Hopea – Untracht received silver medals at the Milan
Triennial in 1954 and 1957, and in 1982, she was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Arts and Crafts 

Saara Hopea turquoise and silver ring    Saara Hopea 1980 necklace   Saara Hoppea silver modernist necklace 1981
Saara Hopea turquoise and          Saara Hopea silver necklace1980   Saara Hopea silver necklace 1981
silver ring 1959 - 60

10) Paula Haivoja

Paula Haivoja (1929-) graduated from the Institute of Industrial Arts in Helsinki in 1953 after studying
fashion design. She began working with Kaunis Koru in 1957 where she produced simple structured
silver and onyx rings. In the Sixties she made silver bracelets for Kalevala Koru which spiralled up the arm ,
the separate parts moving with the wearer and reflecting the light. She designed elegant rings with square
cut crystals set in a pyramid within rings hanging from slim silver links.  In 1967 she opened her own shop
where she could fully exhibit her talents as a fashion and jewellery designer, selling knits, silver cuffs and
amazing unusual rings. She was known for her highly original designs.

Paula Haivaoja ring silver   Paula Haivaoja necklace crystal   Paula Haivaoja bracelet 2 silver

Paula Haivoja silver                       Paula Haivoja crystal pendant        Paula Haivoja silver bracelet
modernist ring                                necklace for Kalevala Koru  

11) Sten and Laine


Sten and Laine was founded in the early Sixties near Turku , Finland by Hans Sten, and Karl Laine.
Karl Laine's jewellery designs were inspired by peaceful observations of nature. He worked in bronze at
first, later progressing to silver. The use of metallic surfaces and the contrast between gloss and matt
and angular and round were characteristic of his designs. The jewellery was popular in both Sweden
and Germany. The Finnfeelings range was  typical of their serial  production of the 1970'S. The company
continued to be succesful  producing  both iconic Karl Laine designs as well of those of more contemporary
designers.The early designs of Karl Laine are most sought after by collectors.

Sten and Laine 1980 rock crystal bangle        Karl Laine 1970 pendant and bracelet set

Sten and Laine rock crystal and          Sten and Laine Finnfeelings     Karl Laine 1970's pendant and bracelet
silver  bangle 1980     

12) Erik Granit

Erik Granit (1930-1988) opened his silversmiths workshop E Granit and Co in Helsinki in 1956 
at the age of 26. He produced a variety of abstract and minimalist modern jewellery designs , often 
incorporating local stones from Finland such as amethyst and quartz. He remained working at his
own shop for over 30 years producing beautiful quality work which is much admired by collectors today.


13) Pentti Sarpaneva


Pentti Sarpaneva (1925-78) was a Finnish Jewellery designer, and brother of Timo Sarpaneva glass designer.
He studied in Helsinki at the School of Fine Art and the School of Industrial Art . After this he worked initially
at the Kalevala Koru company, and  later with Turun Hopea Oy specialising in affordable jewellery. He was
known for his original work. His jewellery displayed unpolished surfaces in a variety of different shapes,
and he was  intrigued by the combination of glass and metal, evident in some of his smaller designs 
Many of his designs were made in silver, and gold, however his favourite material was  bronze.