May 29, 2020

FIVE FROM FINLAND: Tableware

table setting
These Finnish companies are helping to set the table in a variety of ways.
JULIA BUSHUEVA

Attractive and durable tableware manufactured by these five Finnish companies can be used on a daily basis, for special occasions or as gift articles.

Finnish high-quality ceramics and design tableware are very well known worldwide thanks to such iconic brands as Arabia and Iittala. But the country is home to many more manufactures of all sorts of tableware made of porcelain, glass, wood, steel and new innovative materials.

Bjarmia

Since its founding in 1974, this manufacturer of unique handmade ceramics has seen a lot of twists and turns, but its inspiring relationship with northern nature and strong belief in craftsmanship has remained unchanged.

Bjarmia’s tableware designs are inspired by the rich cultural heritage and diverse nature of Kuusamo, where the ceramic workshop is located, and cater to the needs of modern consumers: all items are oven-, microwave oven- and dishwasher-proof.

“Our products are handmade, and it’s allowed to show,” said CEO Kaisa Valkama-Kettunen. “We don’t use any moulds or stamps. Every single line is carved by hand, and that’s why every cup and plate is different – and that’s also the objective.”

Tonfisk

Based in the country’s oldest city of Turku, this design company primarily manufactures refined porcelain coffee and tea sets, but its product line is growing year by year and includes also plates, bowls, trays, wine glasses and more.

Recognised both domestically and internationally as an inventive design brand, Tonfisk is no stranger to experiments with new ideas and materials, like merging porcelain and wood in its tableware, but never at the expense of functionality.

“We are continuously trying to develop something new to ensure that each product has some kind of novel feature,” claimed co-founder Brian Keaney. “Functionality is also important to us; the product needs to look good and work well.”

Ukko

What started a decade ago as the search for an elegant gift for men has grown into a strong brand with a distinctive identity. This manufacturer of steel hip flasks and drinkware for various alcoholic beverages and warm drinks wants people around the world to celebrate the “Ukko moments” of their lives in a way that is very Nordic in its nature.

A combination of masculine stainless steel and minimalistic Finnish design, Ukko’s products are manufactured in co-operation between metal industry professionals and artisans. The steel shot glasses come with simplistic birch cases and flasks with neat leather sheaths.

“The uniqueness lies in a timeless design that combines traditional handicraft with high-tech metalwork,” explained CEO and designer Jani Jaatinen.

Kupilka

Whether you feel like having a picnic in the nearest park or camping in rough Arctic conditions, this brand has the right tableware for you. Kupilka’s distinctively round cups, bowls, plates and cutlery are designed to combine modern usability and respect for old Karelian traditions.

Durable, lightweight and recyclable, all Kupilka products are made from a proprietary natural fibre composite, and the entire manufacturing process is claimed to be emission-free. This eco-friendly approach has helped Kupilka to gain a strong foothold in the Nordics and beyond.

“Our products are targeted towards the typical modern person who cares about nature, wants to take care of themselves and spends time outdoors,” noted international business manager Laura Bondavalli (Kaasinen). “Ecological values are everything to us.”

VAJA Finland

Simple, chic and timeless are the words that best describe the tableware by this Porvoo-based manufacturer of high-quality ceramics. Established in 2011 by two industry professionals (and Arabia’s ex-employees), VAJA Finland creates functional ceramics that will stand the test of time.

Designed for modern homes and all occasions, the product line is constantly growing and includes elegant mugs and cups, jars and jugs, bowls and saucers, as well as a range of matching kitchen accessories. Clear lines and graphic decorative patterns are the brand’s most distinctive features.

“We at VAJA Finland create beautiful and smart design that surprises with its functionality and remains for generations to come,” stated founders Fred Owren and Henna Lamberg.

Text: Zhanna Koiviola

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