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"I want my design to touch you” - Tero Kuitunen

In the Kymenlaakso region of Finland, at the end of the ‘80s, a little dreamy factory started operating. Among the paper and pulp industries, Tero Kuitunen’s family was running a doughnut factory, a free-time island living in the memories of the designer. 

The impalpable remembrance turned concrete through Tero’s work: the designer’s first solo exhibition Ceramic Deli at Kämp Galleria (Helsinki) from this September 8th crystalizes and transparently shows his childhood as if it were covered in sugar.

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From Tero Kuitunen website

The Kämp Galleria turns into a pop-up deli shop staging Tero Kuitunen exhibition, which consists in his hand-built ceramic pieces collection all derived from the world of food: over the dough-inspired vases, pots and “gummy” lamps, the collection includes sausage-like frames and friezes “in all sauces” and colors (check Tero’s Instagram profile for more versions) that surround mirrors or stand alone as mini sculptures.

The ceramic glaze shines like icing and the ceramic sausage makes you want to take a bite. Which one would you pick?

- Ceramic Deli, 2021

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WURSTIE MIRROR
Hand built ceramic, glass mirror, wood 
Size 49 cm x 49 cm x 5cm
Numbered and signed
METRILAKU MINI SCULPTURES
Hand built ceramic knot, concrete
size: height 13 - 17 cm
Ph. credit Maija Astikainen

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STRIPES VASES
Hand built ceramic.
Size varies
Ph. credit Maija Astikainen

The collection is emotionally driven and defined as “a combination of childhood  innocence and, simultaneously, abundance; an unreachable utopia which has suddenly turned into reality”, by the author himself.

The inspiration behind Ceramic Deli does not just refer to the raw materials processed in the family factory or to the glossy decorations and sparkling frosting applications. 

The design of Tero Kuitunen manages to emulate the same industrial processes of the sweets’ making, while paying homage to the memory of his childhood from the top to the bottom: as the dough is produced and kneaded at very beginning forming lines, so the designer mined those shapes to then build its forms. Tero uses the same “line” feature as the beginning of his memories and his products for the collection. 

The work then is deliberate and “each object comes out as a unique individual - just like in a donut lineup”.

Just like the sweets dipped in icing and covered by sugary layers, the Ceramic Deli designs reproduce the imperfections of the dipping process like the leakages on the surfaces: this is a tribute to the joy, as well as to the materials that are worked with hands like the clay, allowing the designer to confirm his sense of meaning in the ceramic product.

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SWIRL LAMPS
Materials: Hand blown glass, hand built ceramic, textile cable.
Glass parts done in a Collaboration with Nuutajärvi glass village.
Size: height 38-43 cm, width 23 cm
Limited edition
Ph. credit Maija Astikainen

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Ph. credit Maija Astikainen

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FLAVOR VASES
Hand built ceramic vases. Different glazes and sizes.
On going series.
Ph. credit Maija Astikainen

I love to use bold colors, unexpected forms, and humor. With these choices, I want to  evoke people’s questions, make them happy and find insightful solutions.

Tero Kuitunen

Since he graduated from Aalto University, Tero has worked extensively in the fields of product design, concept planning, curating and exhibition design. He featured many companies designing for Supercell, Absolut Vodka, Aalto University and Ivana Helsinki, just to name a few. Always fascinated by the clay as a valid three-dimensional support to a range of creations and easy to model, he applied to study ceramics and glass design, when he finished his art school in Helsinki.

Indeed, Ceramic Deli encloses much of the designer’s deep core, which hides at the same time something more profound than the fisical objects themselves.

In general, his works are pervaded by fixed elements like rich colors, the playful inspiration and the use of variety of materials, in order to bring different sensations that uses the tactile and visive memory.

The fil-rouge displays in all of the concepts developed during those years, and the family-owned factory remembrances become a kind of a lighthouse that sheds its rays on its entire production. The research of “touch” is the ultimate storytelling element and the very constant effort he applies in every product to evoke, to suggest, to arouse.

Reporting an interview Tero held with Helsinki Design Weekly in 2018, the designer opened up on the deepest themes about his way of working. “My work is related to the physicality of objects and how they feel in the hand of the users, just like to memories or sensations the touch evokes”, and adds “Scandinavian minimalism is not for me. I love colors and I always wonder how they could be applied.”

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TIKI TABLE LAMPS, 2019 
Materials: slip cast terracotta, hand knot paper shade, brass and textile cable
Size: height 55 cm
Ph. credit Tero Kuitunen

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CABINET WALL MIRRORS, 2019
Wall mirrors with a fringe edge.
Materials: Painted mdf, mirror, textile fringe
- Sizes: square 63 x 63 cm / diamond 80 x 80 cm / round 68 x 68 cm

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MARRAKESH TABLE MIRRORS, 2019

Materials: slip cast terracotta, Mdf, chalk paint, mirror, brass
Sizes: height large 58 cm / medium 53 cm / small 40 cm
Ph. credit Tero Kuitunen

For instance, the designs presented during the Milan Design Week 2019 at Salone Satellite - the section of the Salone del Mobile fairgrounds dedicated to emerging designers - introduced the themes of touch and play: in Marrakesh Table Mirrors the mat finish of the hand-made ceramic invites to feel the velvety surface, as you take a look through the turning mirror, or artenatively in the TIki Table lamps the soft and fragile paper is combined with rough terracotta, in order to generate a kind of living and vibrant presence. Tero’s designs have all to be discovered and experienced. Keep an eye on.

INFO

PhotosTero Kuitunen and Maija Astikainen
Tero Kuitunen URLhttp://www.terokuitunen.com/
Instagram profile@tero_kuitunen_design

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