Redefining a Classic Approach – Marimekko´s Weather Diary


Oiva tableware by Sami Ruotsalainen (form) and Aino-Maija Metsola (pattern), tablecloth Kuuskajaskari by Aino-Maija Metsola, and cutlery Konkkaronkka by Mari Isopahkala, all for Marimekko (2013)

Some time ago I had the great pleasure to sit down and speak at length with two very gifted young designers from Finland. Sami Ruotsalainen and Aino-Maija Metsola visited Stockholm to present their Weather Diary collection for Marimekko.
As the name indicates, it is a collection inspired by the natural forces of wind, sunshine, rain, cold and heat. But it is also an hommage to the great beauty of the archipelago outside Helsinki.
– I live on an island there, Aino-Maija says. And I love how the weather often feels much more powerful and interesting by the sea.
Being a keen sailer, Aino-Maija started her research by going around in her boat, taking pictures of the sea, the horizon, the land and light.
– I kind of collected memories, and came up with an emotional interpretation of sea and land. I also did some sketching and drawing, while drifting around in my boat.
Back in her studio, Aino-Maija painted her impressions in water colour. The result is poetic and graphical. If you look closer you´ll se tree trunks bent by sea storms, dry grass and meadows, wet cliffs and foggy mornings…
Anna-Maija Metsolas patterns are a perfect match to the Oiva tablewear, designed by Sami Ruotsalainen. His designprocess started with a short brief from Marimekko.
– It was four sheets of paper, with sentences like ” We would like to have some things for dining, some things white and some things with pattern. And the design has to last long: from now to…forever.” Usually producers give me detailed instructions on what and how, and everything in between, Sami says.
With his background in ceramics, Sami Ruotsalainen was well suited to take on the challenge of creating rather freely, for a client he’d known long.
– I started with the fact that I love food, in all its aspects. I love cooking, and I love setting a table. The generously short brief led me into a process where I could chose my own sizes, my own proportions. Without looking at standards for tablewear or getting restricted by what the user might expect.
During this process, Sami remembered how his grandmother used to cherish her old coffee cups.
– She used small cups in fine china, with saucers, and a handle. She said a nice handle adds to the feeling of drinking a good cup of coffee. I liked the idea of having a special cup for coffee, and another one for tea. In a long lasting design that could pass through generations. /CW


Oiva plate and Oiva serving pot by Sami Ruotsalainen and Aino-Maija Metsola for Marimekko (2013)