Valona, design Elina Mäntylä
Elina’s Valona design language is composed of the details that catch her attention in her home country and around the world: treasures of faith, the ivy in Ireland, the birch trees in Lapland, the arches in Southern Europe, the aesthetics of architecture and folklore and the wonders of nature. Her inspiration has given life to delicate and beautiful ornaments, chandeliers and jewelry that carry hints of Scandinavian folklore, classical architecture and the natural world in their forms.
“In 2002 when I was still working as a teacher, I discovered metal wire as a material that I felt could express my experiences. I see it as a three-dimensional line. But it wasn’t until 2006 that I became a full-time entrepreneur in the craft and design industry, completing my Master’s Degree in Art at Aalto University on the side.
Throughout the years other materials have also worked their way into my designs. I don’t limit myself when it comes to forms and materials, as it’s important to make what’s in my heart and find the right substance to give it form.
My newest material is Finnish birch plywood. I designed Birch Crystals as a result of that discovery. I have placed in them my impression of glistening dewdrops on the branches of a birch forest. I wish that everyone could experience the fairy-tale wonder of an early summer morning in a birch forest, as well as the quiet peace of a calm lake surface reflecting the gentle light of the midnight sun.
Sometimes I make something and only understand it later. That’s what happened when I started making my wire tiaras and crowns. I was at my grandmother’s farm at the time and when she asked me why I was making them, I didn’t know how to answer her. As I woke up the next night, it dawned on me that I had made ‘crowns of identity for the King’s daughters.’ It warmed my heart to try on these delicate crowns with my grandmother and my aunt. If there’s anything I want to convey through my work, it’s that you are worthy and important.
Valona design products have received glowing reviews in Finland, and products are available in popular design shops in the country. Valona primarily subcontracts with small Finnish companies to produce the designs. The goal is to expand to international markets, bring customers wonderful new products and build good partnerships between different actors in the design world.
Memberships and licences:
Video published 26.5.2016. It is made by Haaga-helia UAS students
Ideas and scripts: Larissa Foester – Manon Lits – Paulien Vermeulen
Director: Heidi Yli-Pietilä
Videographer: Phuong Le
Editor and stylist: My Tran
Models: Larissa Foester – Manon Lits – My Tran – Paulien Vermeulen – Heidi Yli-Pietilä
Ohjaus ja kuvaus: Joonas Lehtipuu
The videos above is made close to my home that describes the source of inspiration for my arts and craftwork. The other video is more about Birch Crystals and my studio work.