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  • Writer's pictureTunto Lighting

The Story Behind the Swan Collection

I’ve been fascinated by bending wood ever since I was a kid. My childhood home had furniture by iconic designers such as Ilmari Tapiovaara, Alvar Aalto and Tapio Wirkkala. I have a huge admiration for the furniture of Charles and Ray Eames, and the technical wooden molded furniture and objects they made almost 100 years ago.

Swan Pendant Lamp - TUNTO Lighting

Mikko Kärkkäinen - Designer TUNTO Lighting

Wood – a way of creative expression

Creating things by hand has always been my way of expressing myself. I have been lucky to have the opportunity to work with wood for most of my life, and that the tools and materials have always been within my reach.

I shaped my first skateboards all by myself and made my first lamp shapes 30 years ago at the age of 16. I quickly realized that shaping and curving plywood is one of the finest technical aspects of truly understanding what it takes to work with wood.

Aiming for sculptural plasticity and lightness

When creating wooden objects, the union of the organic material and the plasticity of a shaped

plywood is something that feels very natural for me. I enjoy sculptural forms, curved lines, and their dynamic relationships with each other. This is, in a way, part of the legacy of Tapio Wirkkala. He was a person who truly excelled in this.

When creating the Swan collection, I strived to apply this kind of plasticity and lightness. Furthermore, I wanted to challenge my technical prowess and the years of experience in making molds.

Mikko Kärkkäinen - Designer TUNTO Lighting

The Swan: a modern classic

With the Swan, I wanted to create a wooden object with a distinct plasticity, believing that such an object would speak to people. I also wanted to make the lamp’s light ”plastic” in a way, as though it were an integral part of this alliance of wooden plasticity and form. In a word: I wanted to create a classic. A modern but timeless product that is like a sculpture, with technically advanced technology – inspired by the forms of nature and the true masters of design.

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