Lokal Creators / Päivi Keski-Pomppu

Päivi Keski-Pomppu is a fine jewellery designer based in Helsinki, Finland. She draws inspiration from a variety of themes, including minimalism, art and architecture, as well as the silence and ruggedness of nature. Her jewellery pieces are all like works of art. We visited her studio, where she works on both her jewellery as well as her sculptural pieces, a whole variety of which are featured in the Sinua sinua rakastan exhibition (Lokal Gallery, 23.9.–22.10.2022).

Lokal Creators / Päivi Keski-Pomppu

Päivi Keski-Pomppu is a fine jewellery designer based in Helsinki, Finland. She draws inspiration from a variety of themes, including minimalism, art and architecture, as well as the silence and ruggedness of nature. Her jewellery pieces are all like works of art. We visited her studio, where she works on both her jewellery as well as her sculptural pieces, a whole variety of which are featured in the Sinua sinua rakastan exhibition (Lokal Gallery, 23.9.–22.10.2022).

Lokal: Where do you draw inspiration from for the themes of your works and their visual language?

Päivi Keski-Pomppu: “Many of my works are often born from explorations and my imagination, which have often been influenced by the things happening around me and by what I have seen. These can be colour combinations, a painting, or an interesting structure. I compose together various pieces created through experiments. There is often a theme in the background, which also in part leads the process, because I often get lost into things and it keeps me true to a red thread. I often start with just an idea, I see things three-dimensionally in my mind. I sometimes record them in quick sketches, simple lines – from that I often swiftly start to make a shape into the actual material or some suitable modelling material. Sometimes I reach what I see in my imagination, sometimes I don’t, but often it becomes more reduced the longer I work with it. I may work very intensively when I feel like I’m onto something. Some shape may be on my desk for a longer time and I make different variations of it. Repetition and really small changes can be defining, and can only be achieved with the help of materials.”

L: What are some principles that are important to you in working and manufacturing processes?

PK: “I carefully recycle materials in the work process, and I often make individual pieces and small series of jewellery on order. The precious metals I use in the jewellery are all recyclable – I consider that important. Dialogue with the material is also important, it gives a certain freedom to the design. The jewellery is made by hand in small batches, so I put my own touch on it as a creator, hoping that it will be transmitted in some way.

For me, it is important to keep jewellery-making as versatile as possible, because it enables the utilisation of different techniques. Stone planting, different surfaces and different types of metal processing bring their own character to the work and at the same time challenge the technical implementation.

What has always fascinated me about making jewellery is that you can be free to focus on small details and form, rather than just functionality. I studied to become an industrial designer and an interior architect, and I see that scaling and observing things has an important influence on the kind of jewellery I design. Jewellery has been an important means of expression for me since the age of 16, perhaps precisely because it is at the interface of a utility object and a small art object. In addition, making jewellery is challenging and difficult, there is a lot to learn every time, and I think that is one of the fascinating aspects of handicrafts, it challenges its maker again and again. In unique works, every small change brings new considerations to be solved. Making them is slow, and then also something more profound is born into each piece of jewellery.”

L: What made you want to work with both jewellery, sculpture and lighting? What significance do materials have in your design and production processes?

PK: “In a way, they are all very close to each other. I find it very fascinating to try out ideas at different scales and with different materials, and see how it affects the nature of the work. In a way, the glass element in the lamp can be like a jewel in the object, which is composed into a whole, just like a stone in a piece of jewellery.

My first pieces as a child must have been some sculptures from clay; I dug clay from the field and sculpted whatever I came up with. When I was young, I went to ceramics courses in my hometown and eventually ended up studying goldsmithing in Lahti. Even then, during my studies, there were a lot of different materials, metalworking, ceramics, sculpture and design. I studied industrial design in the Lahti Institute of Design, where I also worked with ceramics, wood, and metal, so everything has kind of gone in parallels.

Working with different materials has made me realise that it takes years as a craftsman to find the true nature and essence of a material, so that working with it becomes natural, like part of its creator. At the same time, this understanding brings a great appreciation and admiration for other craftsmen and, for example, the glass works are always made in cooperation with the glassblower, and this interaction is always just as fascinating and inspiring.”

Shop: Päivi Keski-Pomppu’s Work

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Hanna-Kaisa Korolainen is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, and researcher. We visited her studio as she was preparing her pieces for the Sinua sinua rakastan exhibition.

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