1. Unique work ︎︎︎
  2. Creative Collaboration ︎︎︎
  3. Industrial Design ︎︎︎
  4. Small Series ︎︎︎
  5. Glass Art ︎︎︎

  6. Through my work I am seeking answers: How to design so that objects could be manufactured in series – reasonably – while keeping them unique? How to connect with individuals on a deeper level? And how it relates to art?

    Read more ︎︎︎


1. The Magic of Unique Work

I find the classification as a designer as something problematic for me. It is too broad and general of a concept to describe my work. On the other hand, I like the room it gives. A designer can design for a series, but also for something unique and artistic in its content.

I would like to call myself an applied art designer. It gives me the right kind of title for my artistic thinking and enables creating content already before tangible, physical design. Things happen in this order in my case: The visual form is the last dimension that calls to interact with the object.

Individuality, uniqueness – personal and delicately chosen details are the spice and passion of my work. They are the things I want to immerse myself in. Applied art is my true calling. I find that I am privilegded, when I can work for it – diversely and unconditionally.

Creativity is my most important recource, I cherish it in every way. Without it I could not work genuenly, and for that I am constantly making choices between the project that I should do and bring forward and the ones I should let go.

There are so many things happening that an individual can not affect on. But through my work I can do so, and I can do it with dignity. I hope that in the long run it would be something meaningfull for many others.

 electroformed copper, silver, 2024

Goldsmith: Mika Paasonen
Photographer: Chikako Harada

jewelry collection, 2010

Goldsmith: Sanna Silgren
Photographer: Chikako Harada

The idea for the jewelry competition struck me instantly.
Nature is in Lapponia’s brand core
– for me the drops are the nature’s purest form.

light, 2011

Photographer: Chikako Harada

sculptural light series, 2013

Cabinet maker: Jari-Pekka Vilkman
Photographer: Chikako Harada

sculptural light series, 2013

Cabinet maker: Jari-Pekka Vilkman
Photographer: Chikako Harada

sculpture, 2015

Photographer: Chikako Harada

light, 2008

Glass blower: Jaakko Liikanen
Photographer: Anna Hämäläinen

carpet, 2009

Photographer: Liisa Valonen

hammock, 2005

Photographer: Chikako Harada

cutleries, 2005

Photographer: Chikako Harada


2. The Art of Creative Collaboration

I highly appreciate the chance of working with colleagues. Creative collaborations are unique exhibition projects with some ordered works. What these projects have in common is the respect for craftmanship and a great desire to understand it and to cherish it.
As a result of the mechanical automation of the manufacturing process the deeper understanding of craftmanship in the process has changed. There is a risk that this delicate understanding will disappear.
To me, craftmanship means a human, present and interactive way of manufactoring with quality. The crafter, like the designer, learn from each other. We work together towards the same goal. It is pure and genuine. This inspires and touches me everytime.

Making of different types of experiments and prototypes is my type of design work. I process physical samples together with an artisan when ever I have a chance. Interaction with different kinds of craftsmen and sustaining the high quality manufacturing in Finland is a matter close to my heart.

object ensemble, 2012 

Glass objects by Mari Isopahkala.
Ceramic objects by Sami Ruotsalainen
Photographer: Chikako Harada

glass object, 2012

Glass blower: Jaakko Liikanen
Photographer: Chikako Harada

textile design for Woodnotes, 2014  

Design: Mari Isopahkala & Tanja Sipilä

carpet, 2009

Design: Mari Isopahkala, Tanja Sipilä & Kirsti Taiviola.
Photographer: Liisa Valonen

carpet & chair, 2009

Design: Mari Isopahkala, Tanja Sipilä & Kirsti Taiviola.
Photographer: Liisa Valonen


3. Ongoing Research of Industrial Unique Design

I enjoy designing collections and it feels natural for me. This way I can contentify the design or I can make an object stand out better with its’ individual characteritics. When I was studying I created Industrial Unique design method; an idea of something being unique – yet industrially produced – tangible in a new way. The content of the design and the values of the company can make the serial production something unique and tender. This is what I want to exam and learn together with the industry.

I want to work only with companies that create high quality and sustainable products. Cooperation works well when all partners are committed to work the same way. This way something truly new can be created. By working together the World is more humaine.

glass series for Habitat Ltd, 2009

 jewelry collection for Lapponia Jewelry, 2011

Guest Designer in Lapponia

cutlery series for Marimekko, 2013

light series for Innolux, 2019

jewelry collection for Lapponia Jewelry, 2013 

First Finnish Women Designer in Lapponia

furniture collection for Topi-Keittiöt, 2009

tableware for SOK, 2014


4. Small Series – a Poem of Purpose

I do not plan certain artifacts, neither I use certain material nor scale, but I design objects that have a story to tell or a purpose to exist. After a long creative process these objects are formed to a certain scale and are made of certain material.

The objects that I design are usually gentle and soft in their shape and existence. They are always unique – visually or in their content. The cooperation with the artisans is my primary objective when designing and producing small series.

I want the work to be mindfull and challenging. I want to put my soul into objects that I design. When I exercise new ways of thinking, my design can remain in use. This is when I have succeeded. Quality can not be replaced with quantity. 

jewelry collection for Arkimuoto, 2021

Goldsmith: Mika Paasonen
Photographer: Liisa Valonen

Sculptural light series, 2016

Carpenter: Tapio Kangasniemi
Photographer: Chikako Harada

Crystal glass series, 2012

Glass Blower: Crystal Glamour 
Photographer: Chikako Harada

Mortar series, 2015

Cabinet maker: Matti Söderkultalahti
Photographer: Rauno Träskelin

reindeer fur ring series, 2005

Photographer: Anna Hämäläinen

glass series, 2008

Glass blower: Jakko Liikanen
Photographer: Erno Enkenberg


5. Design as Art

I have found glass to be something fascinating. I don’t blow glass myself, but for some reason, I feel like I belong in the hot workshop.  

Clear glass is something that I like in particular. It is immaterial yet very optic. Through glass, one can look through to new views of one’s own perspectives. Glass, as material, and the shape it forms, is equally unique to everyone.

I am fascinated by the whole process of creating a glass object. How the artistic ambition is led to interact with the opportunities of the fine art of glassblowing, and how everything turns out in practise. Alongside working with the glassblowers, I truly enjoy designing the molds. By creating a mold I can put my fingerprint on glass.

The production of a glass piece often requires participation of many skilled artisans already before stepping into a hot workshop. Glassblowers are – along with so many others in the process – artisans. Inspite of the long traditions, countries and workshops have their own culture. The intricacies of all these unique opportunities engage me.

11 x 25,5 x 20 cm
12 x 24 x 21,5 cm
10,5 x 25,5 x 23,5 cm

Kiln casted, grinded and polished crystal, 2024.
Manufacturer: G1 Glass Art Studio
Photographer: Chikako Harada

39 x 17 x 32cm

Mouth blown to mold, cold cut, drilled and polished. Copper and steel wire, 2024.
Master glass blower: Jaakko Liikanen, Nuutajärvi, Finland
Assistant glass blower: Samuli Parkkinen
Cold work: Heikki Viinikainen
Metal work: Mika Paasonen
Photographer: Chikako Harada

triptych, 2012

Master glass blower: Pino Signoretto in Murano, Venice
Photographer: Chikako Harada

I created these pieces with Maestro Mr. Pino Signoretto in Murano.
He had a holistic view of glass which made him on of the talentest master in the era.

unique series, 2022

Master glass blower: Jaakko Liikanen, Nuutajärvi, Finland
Assistant glass blower: Kirsi Anttila
Photographer: Anna Oksanen

sculpture, 2017

Glass blowers: Alma Jantunen & Johannes Rantasalo
Gold work: Heikki Viinikainen
Photographer: Chikako Harada

series, 2015

Glass blower: New Murano Gallery
Photographer: Francesco Allegretto

sculpture, 2017

Glass blowers: Alma Jantunen &Johannes Rantasalo
Gold work: Heikki Viinikainen

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