September 26, 2014

Wood bends in Tonfisk’s design

The Finnish company Tonfisk combines wood and porcelain in its tableware.
The Finnish company Tonfisk combines wood and porcelain in its tableware.
Tonfisk

A design company that wanted its name to reflect its Finnish origins and innovativeness was named after a Swedish can of tuna. In the beginning, the company thought the name was amusing but, over time, it also started sounding good. Today, the Finnish company is known as far away as Asia.

Tonfisk primarily manufactures coffee and tea sets and its product range is growing year by year. Today, half of Tonfisk’s products are exported and half are sold in Finland. The company sells its products in more than 30 countries and it sees potential for growth especially in Asia.

“It all started in 1999. We were wondering what we should do next and decided to start our own brand. We only had a few products and we just started selling those,” says Tonfisk’s co-founder and managing director Brian Keaney.

Keaney, a fluent speaker of Finnish, is an Irishman who ended up in Finland in 1996 and has never left. Keaney has garnered respect as a designer and in 2007 he received both the Ilmari Tapiovaara Award and the Ornamo Design Award.

Tonfisk merges wood and porcelain

Tonfisk’s co-founder Brian Keaney is an award-winning designer.

Tonfisk’s co-founder Brian Keaney is an award-winning designer.

Tonfisk

The design and development of Tonfisk products take place in Finland but the products are now manufactured elsewhere by subcontractors. A special feature of Tonfisk is merging together of wood and porcelain in tableware and interior decoration products.

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

The wood for the bracelets around the products comes from all over the world, depending on the species of tree used.

“The wooden part of our products is not just for decorative purposes; there is always a reason why it’s used. For example, the wooden portion acts as insulation, keeping the drink warm without letting your hands burn,” Keaney says.

Text: Sara Vihavainen

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