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Jarno Peltonen.jpg

Foundation chairman Jarno Peltonen

The Foundation's activities and events

The Tyyne-Kerttu Virkki Foundation annually organizes events, exhibitions and seminars that cherish the memory and life's work of its founder. The most important event is the annual Tyyne-Kerttu Virkki seminar.

The Tyyne-Kerttu Virkki Seminar

The Tyyne-Kerttu Virkki seminars, which have been held since 2001, have dealt extensively with the culture and tradition of handicrafts:

2023 Towards sustainable development - textile's story renewed - READ MORE

2020 Towards sustainable development. Textiles with the point of view of environmentally                   friendly traditions and forward-looking ambition - READ MORE (in Finnish)

2019 Finnish Ryijy (knotted carpet)

2018 Church textiles

2017 Art with a touch of handicrafts

2016 Diverse craft heritage

2015 On the Surface! - perspectives on the multi-material surface - READ MORE

2014 Handicraft museums and collections - the significance of handiwork yesterday and                     today

2013 Tradition lives!

2012 Hungary - land of crafts

2011 The skill and art of embroidery

2010 Turkish textile traditions and teachings

2009 In the Byzantine tradition

2008 Collecting cultural treasures, Tyyne-Kerttu Virki's time in Aunus 1941–1944

2007 Tyyne-Kerttu Virkki's 100th birthday celebration seminar

2006 Woman and handicrafts

2005 Our traditional textiles today

2004 Handicrafts and the future - an international perspective

2003 Handicraft - the present and the future

2002 Handicrafts as a vessel of culture

2001 Handicrafts as a developer of thinking and creativity

Handicraft seminar "On the Surface!"


The theme of the annual Virkki seminar is "On the surface!" ("Pinalla!") - joined the views of the competition aimed at young designers, supplementing them. The surface can be hard or soft, textile, wood, or concrete - every surface is associated with an emotional experience of the senses.

The seminar relates to the SURFACE, with its basis in the materials and techniques of its sensations, its manipulation, and its meanings.


Koristeet, symbolit ja viestit pinnalla; Researcher Ildikó Lehtinen PhD

The Basic Motives of Dressing:

  • Decorative / aesthetic

  • Protection / cultural environment and intangible cultural heritage

  • Modesty / religious beliefs and mentality

  • Communication /semiotics

Material culture theorist Judy Attfield believes that textiles reflect privacy. The clothes are close to the body, and therefore they are personal objects. Examples are the straight dress of the Volga-Finnish peoples, which was always decorated with embroidery, regardless of the context in which it was used. The dress of the Mari, Mordovian and Udmurt people is similar in cut and decoration to the dresses of the Greeks, Serbians, Bulgarians, Hutsuls, Boykas and Chuvash. The shirt dress, on the other hand, goes back to the tunic of the Ancient Romans, where the decoration was also located on the neckline of the tunic, along the longitudinal seams and on the hem.

Another example is the indigenous peoples of Siberia, where the decoration of leather clothes refers to the woman's lineage and the family's totem animal.


”Dressing” the Home

Interior textiles and bedding made by women are also part of the individual's immediate operating environment. (Attfield 2000, 121, 123.) A home decorated with hand-made textiles represented and still represents an individual's place, private and personal. The opposite has been a workplace or, for example, a cultural center, which has been an emphatically public space. Embroidery, crochet and other handicraft techniques emphasize privacy and thus strengthen identity. Through handicrafts, the space is separated from the public and gets the stamp of privacy (Buchli 1999, 128).


Touch surface. Senses and interaction; Visual artist Hilda Kozári


Light surface; Interior architect Esa Vesmanen

The surface of the building; Interior architect Samuli Naamanka

Semba Center Building, Osaka, Japani, 2015


Just a couple of years ago, the bazaar-like Semba Center Building, which houses numerous small textile companies, was an ugly, 10-block building, dividing the city in two. Built in the 1800s, the center under the freeway had reached an age when the state required the building to be repaired to support the brick surface against earthquakes and to prevent the bricks from falling and cracking.


The project was designed by the architectural and engineering firm Ishimoto Architectural & Engineering Firm, Inc. The starting point of the Ishimoto architects' design was to improve the cityscape and at the same time highlight the purpose of the building. A poetic idea of traditional kimono fabric patterns was born.


It took a long time to go through the various implementation options and materials, as the merchant association formed by 800 tenants had numerous opinions and concerns. Fibre concrete manufacturer AGB presented graphic concrete technology to Ishimoto architects at just the right time - just before Mr Tada, the architect responsible for the project, visited Finland.


Tada, an architect who is interested in technology, was given the opportunity by AGB and Graphic Concrete's Japanese distributor to get to know graphic concrete projects implemented in Finland.


Ishimoto architects drew their own plans from patterns, but ultimately wanted a more artistic approach to the design. As a result of architect Tada's visit to Finland, the choice of Samuli Naamanga as the pattern designer was quite natural.


The design task was a very interesting challenge, because the kimono is a traditional garment for the Japanese. With the commission, Naamanka was able to learn about different kimono bindings, e.g. For Nami and Asanoha kimonos. In the project, he found out that every designer varies kimono patterns and there is no actual standard.

Seven different patterns were planned for ten different buildings, which were realized with graphic concrete and perforated aluminum panels. The combination of two different materials served both techniques and reproduced the patterns in an interestingly different way.


”From the designer's point of view, the most gratifying thing has been to see the astonishment and admiration of the passers-by, that was caused by new look of the building. According to the Ishimoto architects, the merchants themselves have also been very satisfied with the end result, and the builders of the construction site have even come to ask them for autographs.”
- Handicrafts on the surface; Curator at the Finnish Handicrafts Museum Seija Hahl

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