Kyllikki Salmenhaara (1915-1981)
ceramist, teacher, professor
Kyllikki Salmenhaara is remembered first and foremost as a skilful
pedagogue, and as a reformer of ceramics teaching in Finland.
Salmenhaara began to study at the Department of Ceramics of the Central
School of Applied Arts under Elsa Elenius. Her studies were interrupted
during the Second World War when Salmenhaara served in a women's
auxiliary capacity. She graduated in 1943 and went on to work for three
years at the Kauklahti glassworks near Helsinki. Before entering the
service of the Arabia factory, Salmenhaara spent a trainee period in
Nathalie Grebs's studio in Denmark and worked in Sakari Vapaavuori's
studio in Finland.
are not only to be looked at. They should be touches and felt'.
Kyllikki Salmenhaara's production shows imagnitive flying saucers,
robust vases and jugs, some with a close approach to the utilitarian.
Sometimes she used brilliant blue copper glazes, but more offen she
left her objects inglazed or only partly glazed with lovely beaty spots
in the fired clay.
Kyllikki Salmenhaara worked as a member
of Arabia team from 1947 until 1961.
Together with other designers of the Arabia factory's Art Department,
Salmenhaara participated in numerous int' exhibitions and was often
awarded prizes, particularly at the Milan Triennials of 1951-1960. She
received the Pro Finlandia medal in 1961. In the autumn of 1963, after
Elsa Elenius became ill, Salmenhaara was appointed to carry on the
teaching of ceramics at the Ateneum in Helsinki. One of the goals of
that period was to bring teaching closer to professional practices and
the needs of industry. Salmenhaara began to systematically develop
material studies and the teaching of small-scale production methods.
Kyllikki Salmenhaara was appointed to Finland's first post as artist
professor in the field of design and applied art from 1970 to 1973. She
died of cancer in 1981, but her influence has been passed on to later
generations of ceramists.
Konstindustrimuseets Publikation Nr 18, Kyllikki Salmenhaara 1915-1981
Salmenhaara (1915-1981) ceramist, teacher, professor
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