The ÄÄRILLÄ exhibition is a result of a year-long process of Mari Isopahkala and Sami
Ruotsalainen designing together and as individuals. This design process has resulted in
unique ceramic and glass pieces, which will be showcased in Lokal together with Reeta
Ek’s art prints.
The dialogue between Sami and Mari became a dialogue between designers, designs and
materials. The objects are created respecting the nature of the materials and testing
boundaries of both the designs and the objects. A piece is often a combination of a design
by Mari and a design by Sami. Reeta Ek has created an art print to continue the dialogue
between materials, adding a two-dimensional aspect into the three-dimensional world.
Mari and Sami are designers from Helsinki, and both have MA degrees from the Aalto
University of Art and Design. Reeta Ek is a textile and surface designer, also recently
graduated with a MA from the Aalto University.Mari Isopahkala is an award-winning designer, recently working mostly with glass, wood and lightning. Mari is a graduate of the University of Art and Design, Helsinki. She lives and works in Helsinki.
Mari’s most well-known works are Winter Pearl and Suma jewellery collections for Lapponia, and Konkkaronkka cutlery for Marimekko.
Mari is inspired by skilled artisans. Characteristic of her works is a story that is shown in the different combinations of techniques and materials. She believes that good design is easy to fall in love with. “When you take good care of an item, it will last for the next generation”.
Reeta Ek is a Helsinki-based textile and surface designer (MA). Her background is in fine arts, but an interest in surfaces and patterns drove her to study textile design in Aalto University.
Reeta’s designs can be seen in the collections of Marimekko, Lapuan Kankurit, Nanso and Samuji. She also works with graphic design, illustration, and other visual works.
Reeta’s way of working gives room to chance and to trial and error. “I try to avoid planning too much. I’m interested in experimental and arbitrary methods. My way of working is well described as Mark-Making, in which different tools and materials are used to “make marks”. I assemble my works from these marks. This type of experimentation does not put the end result into the center, but the process itself” Ek says.
Sami Ruotsalainen is a Helsinki-based designer. He is a graduate of University of Art and Design, Helsinki, department of ceramic and glass design, and he works as a designer at Marimekko.
In Sami’s work careful precision meets delicate understanding of materials and forms, and the proportions are of great importance. Sami is interested in the esthetics of everyday life: “I like designing everyday objects, it is problem solving at its best. I’m inspired by everyday life, and I design for the home. I enjoy it when I feel I have brought easiness into the daily routines of people, or I notice my objects create happiness or joy”.
In addition to his commercial design work, Sami also designs and works on small-scale production and unique pieces with different artisans. Characteristic of these designs is a strong artisanal feeling, as well as understanding of the materials, often reminiscent of the daily objects’ forms and shapes.
Some of Sami’s best-known works are Oiva tableware for Marimekko, and Maku bowls for Arabia.