This silver brooch is smaller than my usual brooches.  But the reason I have it in my collection is the simplicity of the design which conveys perfectly the image and idea of a sail boat.  In the design there are just two shapes, one smooth (the sail) and one textured (the boat hull), together they join to form a silhouette and impression of a boat in full sail moving through the water. The design was created by Aarikka.

Aarikka was founded by Kaija Aarikka in 1954.  Kaija was born in Finland on 13th February 1929.  She started the design company with her husband Erkki Ruokonen.  As a Textile student Kaija was looking for particular buttons to go with a garment she was designing.  Unable to find the buttons she wanted she designed and made her own out of wood.  Initially the company worked in wood making buttons and wooden jewellery.  The first Aarikka shop was opened in Helsinki in 1960.  There is a recurring theme of circles and spheres in the designs of Aarikka and is seen to this day in the colourful wooden bead jewellery they sell.

Kaija and Erkki in 1950s working on designs for Aarikka

To celebrate the founding of the company Aarikka have made a short video tracing the history and influences that show the evolution of the company from its inception 70 years ago.  On a totally personal note, I want one of the wooden sheep, but perhaps not the very large one!

One of the unusual things about this brooch is that I know the name of the silversmith who made it working for Aarikka – Jussi Jyvälahti.  Jussi is now a photographer, taking the most wonderful, evocative and atmospheric photographs – well worth taking a look Jussi Jyvälahti