You know I am a factory man.
I love manufacturing processes and am fascinated by factories.
During my last business trip to China, in 2006, I even took 2 extra personal days, pretended to be an European buyer and manage to visit few factories…just for my pleasure and my personal interest.
When I heard that my friend was going to visit a lamp factory in Finland, I re-arranged my schedule and didn’t hesitate long.
The factory owner asked me to remain discrete about what I saw and talked about.
So let’s call the factory Valaistustyö Ky* or Valaisinpaja Oy** (the real name shall-not-be-named, you-know-who, right Harry?)
The factory is manufacturing lamps for Artek and other customers.
When I visited, 2 iconic lamps were under process: the Alvar Aalto A805 and A622
My heart raced when I looked at:
– Inventory of raw material, made in Germany, Estonia, Denmark… All european.
– WIP (work in progress) of the famous angel wings of the Aalto A805 or the rings of the A622
– Hand made leather covering
– Brass welded with silver
– Polishing, painting, sanding
– Bending, cutting, forming, stamping, welding, riveting
A bumping pride of the “made in Finland”
Look at those interactive images to see some of the details I saw.
Artek A805 designed by Alvar Aalto in 1954
Artek A622 designed by Alvar Aalto in 1953
The longer ring of the A622 is 190cm long.
This lamp requires 17 or 22 rings, depending of the model.
* From the moment Valaistustyö Ky was founded in Helsinki in 1952, the firm was the principle producer of the light fittings designed by Alvar Aalto.
** Valaisinpaja Oy was founded in 1967 and it had mainly produced custom lamps for architectural and design projects, among them many of Alvar Aalto’s works. Valaisinpaja Oy merged with Idman later on.