ADDRESS Interview with Lumota.
Define your craft in 3 sentences or less. I make traditional and minimalist styles of himmeli, a direct nod to my family’s heritage. In the past, Finnish himmelis were created from the straw harvested from a family’s crop of rye, in order to celebrate winter solstice in praise of the Sun and Earth’s abundance. My himmelis are a fresh take on the craft and with their lustrous brass and bold geometric lines the himmelis are modern but also feel like family heirlooms.
Describe your creative process. My process begins by studying traditional himmelis, especially pieces from Finnish artists such as Eija Koski and a number of artists from Japan. I play with dimensions sometimes leaving a design as is, but sometimes a design needs changing due to the weight of the brass, or simple segments not working for me visually. If I’m making a piece to emulate an object such as a leaf or a heart I simply study the images and deconstruct an object into a series of connecting lines. The air plant himmelis are deconstructions as well, parts of traditional himmelis, I play with their proportions to suit my favourite air plants.
Where do you find inspiration when experiencing a creative block? So far I haven’t had too many blocks when making himmelis, my ideas for new pieces keep growing. I seem to always have my next project in mind. If I’m feeling burnt out I take time for naps and tea, camping trips or walks in the woods or on the beach, special time with family or friends. Besides nature I also feel inspired by good clean design, mostly from the Nordic countries but also Japan, the Netherlands and Australia. I will forever love Marimekko, the bold lines and bright colours make my day. Books, magazines, the internet, thrifting and shopping trips feed this aspect of design inspiration.
What advice would you give to young designers / makers / artists / creatives aspiring to make it in their field? I would advise a new designer to make what you want to make, not to think about what people are looking for. Do whatever this is with as much integrity and craftsmanship as you can muster. Make what pleases you and then reach out to your demographic, which may take time to figure out. If you don’t get the response you want right away, learn from it, don’t be defeated, then try a new venue, demographic, location etc.
What’s your dream project? I have many, but two take top place. Firstly I would like to be able to fill a public space with himmelis. Seeing loads of himmelis together in groups is arresting, engaging and thrilling for me. I would love to bring people together to enjoy the soothing geometry of himmeli and learn about their fascinating history.
Secondly I would love to collaborate with my dear friend Kate Golding, a wallpaper designer located in PEC, Ontario. We have many long conversations centred around our projects and dreams and we often wistfully wish to be closer so we could collaborate in a fun exhibition.
What art / design trends are you excited about? I’m excited about the rise of the artisan! It seems more and more people are seeking out handcrafted wares. I know in my own home many of my favourite objects are ones that are made by hand and often I’ve had direct interaction with the maker, such a good feeling.