Friday, November 21, 2008

Scandinavian Christmas Linen from Finland

Elegance, durability and practicality are features that Finns have always demanded from the best interior design products. Lapuan Kankurit Oy, founded in 1973, is a modern Jacquard-weaving mill seeking product ideas from current needs while paying homage to the strong Finnish textile traditions. Using the natural fibers of linen and cotton, LK aims to design and manufacture modern, high-quality decorative textiles as well as textiles for everyday use in Scandinavian homes.

Even the best weaving equipment will never replace skilled textiles professionals. The ability of the mill staff, the designers and the suppliers to cooperate seamlessly is a constant source of new ideas. Product development requires open-mindedness and the ability to deal with risks associated with innovation. Courage is required in order to question old practices, and this is a rare quality found in a select few. It is the job of the designers to boldly create linen interior design textiles for Scandinavian homes.

Nancy Bladfält's and Marja Rautiainen's new holiday patterns brings a merry air to the Christmas kitchen. The color of the Joulupuu (Christmas Tree), Pipari (Gingerbread) and Lumihiutale (Snow Flake) rib cloth and kitchen towel are a fresh red-and-white. Those new table textiles create a genuine feeling of traditional Christmas. The festive tablecloths and light glass towels are 100% linen. The color options include white, red, blue, brown and black. In addition, the red and light green Julia towels and runners fit into the homey Christmas kitchen.

All products carrying the Lapuan Kankurit label are designed, manufactured and finished at the weaving mill in Lapua, Finland.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Handmade Shaman Drums from Finnish Lapland

The Sámi drums are oval wooden frames (South Sámi gievrie) or bowls (North Sámi goavddis) covered with reindeer skin. The drum skins are decorated with traditional shamanistic patterns.

Characterized by a central Sun Cross and an unbroken path around the edge. Individual figures are commonly placed on the arms of the sun-cross, on the outer path or floating between these. The typical symbols on a Sami drum are gods (Thunder, Horn, Wind and Mother), people, reindeer and other animals and different kind of tools. Every drum is unique and one will never find two quite alike.

The Sámi (Saame in Finnish) have lived in Finland since ancient times. According to current belief, the Sámi are ethnically the offspring of development that covered many generations. They are thought to have descended from the people who settled in Fennoscandia after the last Ice Age, about 7,500 years BC.

The old Sámi religion was founded on an animistic world-view and a shamanistic form of worship in which drumming on the "runebomme" (ritual drum) and traditional chanting, yoiking, were of great importance. Nature was considered life-giving, and mountains, stone formations and lakes could be of help to the people if they worshipped them and brought them sacrificial gifts. Natural phenomena were gods. The sun (Paivo) had a central place, not as a personified god, but as a basic cosmic force, which extended its rays across the world and carried the personified gods on its rays. These gods were not people, but intermediary figures between human beings and greater forces. Dierpmis (the god of thunder) was worshipped fervently. Bieggolmmái (the god of wind), mánnu (the moon) and áhcolmmái (the god of water) were revered because they had the power to improve people’s conditions.