The Renewer of the Finnish Rag Rug Eija Rasinmäki – Spirit of Creativity, Rattle of the Glass Ceiling and Life of Rugs from Five Decades
The exhibition covers the extensive production of Eija Rasinmäki – steps of weaving, spirit of creativity and rugs from different decades. Rasinmäki is known for her work for the Finnish art industry, making the rag rug a design item for homes. Rasinmäki’s impeccable eye for colour combined with a skilful weaver’s hand, has made the Finnish traditional textile, rag rug, come alive in a new way for 50 years already. At the same time, she has been breaking the glass ceilings of her time, creating, as a single mother, a successful business from nothing and a career as an artist.
As a designer, Rasinmäki has created her reputation in Finland and all around the world with her uniquely individual textiles that are full of life. She draws strength and courage to her creation from colours in particular: “The love for colours creates a feeling within me that gets me close to the core of creation.”
A Handwoven Life exhibition travels through the decades of the artist’s career with the stories of the rugs. The appearances of Rasinmäki’s rugs have lived alongside Finnish interior design trends and through them, you can follow the status of rugs in Finnish homes. In the 1970s, rag rugs were mainly used on the floors of kitchens and living rooms. Strong and fresh colours were in style and skilful use of colours and interesting details had the main role in Rasinmäki’s production as well. As the decades moved on, Rasinmäki took inspiration from the United States, as well as the nature and as we arrived to the 2010s, Rasinmäki’s style was more minimalistic, in which Instead of patterns, textures and colours were played with.
The newest production of Rasinmäki, the Punos rug differs from the traditional rag rug because of its strong textures and thick, white weft. The texture of the patented Punos rug is the result of long, ongoing development. Rasinmäki is still an active designer and her goal for the 2020s is to work even stronger than before as the driving force and mentor behind new designers. She hopes to continue creating art rugs and textiles in her weaving mill. The large, electronic machines of the weaving mill are still in use and unique materials as well as interesting colours from over the years can be found in the raw material storage.
The rugs are completed with other household textiles from the collection of Rasinmäki. The exhibition lets you join in on the mood of the weaving mill with a landscape of sounds and videos and of course introduces you to the great source of inspiration for Rasinmäki – nature. Rasinmäki finds the connection to nature very important. The feeling of being a part of something greater and creating touching artwork for others. “When I feel excited while I am creating, I believe and hope it transfers with the rug all the way to the customer. This way, a strong energy of life is forwarded to homes also.” The great strength can be noticed from Rasinmäki’s pieces of art that originates from the union of the stark weft, colours, and patterns.
The unique art rugs of Rasinmäki can be found all over the world, in the Finnish consulate in New York and the private residence of film director Woody Allen, among others.
Design Eija Rasinmäki – A Handwoven Life
Exhibition in the Craft Museum of Finland 29.4.–29.8.2021