3 years ago, I realized I had fallen in love…with lamps.
I had started to sell some of my old stuff online, on the equivalent of ebay, here in Finland: huuto.net. I got excited quite quickly, liking the fact that my home stuff still had a value and small money was falling in my pocket.
I have always been fond of flea markets. I will tell you later why (and how, this is the best part). So, one day, after work, I decided to go to my local recycling center to thrift. I admit I was secretly looking for an item to buy so I could sell it online with a profit (flip it, as we say).
I wanted to set the rule that I should only buy something I like, so
1 – If it doesn’t sell I could use it myself
2 – My home stuff sell well, it means that what I like sells well.
Well, I didn’t quite find this, I stumbled upon an ugly, UGLY lamp… what do you think:
I thought: what a strange lamp, very special, the bulbs are very special too…but what an ugly lamp. Let’s not buy it, 5€ is too much for an ugly lamp (stick to the rule: only buy stuff you like).
After 5 minutes, I came back to it, thinking, ugly but special, but ugly!!
10 and 20 min later, same thing, hopping that someone would buy it in front of me to remove my dilemma.
I finally decided myself and spent my 5€ on that ugly lamp.
Feeling ashamed of this ugly purchase, I put it on sale online for 50€ and hided it deep down in my sauna (yes, we have saunas in Finland :-)).
It was there sitting online, for sell, without buyer for quite a while.
One day, I wanted to have a sauna…I had to empty it from all sort of things and from that strange lamp I bought some weeks ago.
When I picked it up, the 3 bulbs did a lovely swing and met each other in the middle, colliding like lovers, and one of the 3 bulbs broke.
I was sure I would never see my 5€ invested again, and was not dreaming of profit anymore.
Ready to cancel the online auction before someone placed a bid on it, as would have to apologize for having 1 broken bulb, I decided to see if I could buy a new bulb. Looking closely at the broken bulb, I saw Airam.
Google took me from airam to Finnish design, from design to… Tapio Wirkkala.
But who is Tapio Wirkkala? I had no clue.
This was my entry point to Finnish Design.
I went back online as my (broken) lamp had 24 hours left before auction closing, and I wrote:
There is a bulb broken, sorry, but as I just found out that this lamp was made by Wirkkala, I believe hat the price remains fair.
The lamp was sold in the following 24 hour, I just needed this key word: WIRKKALA.
I found out later that:
– This lamp had a price tag of 600€
– the bulb itself is sold 15-30eur and is rare (there were 3, euhhh, 2 bulbs on my lamp)
– It is very possible that Wirkkala didn’t design the lamp itself, as other designers made lamps specially for Wirkkala’s bulb.
– This pendant lamp had ceiling and wall ugly siblings:
All this research work got me interested in lamps and finding about a piece of design became addictive: who, what when, how, $$- what is the value -$$…
Today, I consider myself a lamp collector and among the most knowledgeable persons when it comes to Finnish designer lamps. It all started with an ugly lamp.