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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jonas Forth's surprising facts about Finnish design

While tooling around the Interwebs the other day, I ran across a list called 20 Surprising Facts about Finnish Design Icons, written by Jonas Forth. To be more accurate, there are 24 surprising facts, because Jonas was apparently feeling generous the day he compiled the list.

I'm only going to tease you with a few of them, because I want you to go to his site and let him tell the rest of the stories.


The iconic Fiskars scissors by Olof Bäckström were meant to be red, green or black but due to the production manager using what was left in the moulding machine from making plastic juice pressers, some of them turned out orange. They took a vote and orange won 9-7.

The metal holder that surrounds the glass in Timo Sarpaneva’s Tsaikka series was made from recycled zipper waste. His brother Pentti, who made jewellery, experimented with similar ideas.

The best way to identify a real Aalto 60 stool is by how the screws are attached to the bottom of the base. They’ve basically been made the same way since 1933.


  1. I found what I thought was an Ikea stool at a thrift store awhile back. After reading your post and doing some research, I discovered it is an Aalto 60, probably from the 60's. Thanks Dana! I always learn something from your posts.

    1. Yay! Nice find there. And it's so nice to hear from you. Is the Malm painted yet?

    2. Not yet Dana. I have yet to find a powder coater in the area and I can't decide on a color either! My projects seem to take longer these days.

  2. Hi There
    I just found this site by searching an ICF Stool that i found. Its ver similar to this one shown but has 4 legs. Even the screws are set the same way. It has a label underneath ICF with a New York address and off to the side "made in finland" also lightl stamped on label is alvar. Any info would really be appreciated.
    Thank you

    1. I.C.F., Inc. was started in 1962 and was the first American company to distribute furniture designed by European architects. They started with Alvar Aalto's designs in 1962. In the 70s they added pieces by Arne Jacobsen. I.C.F. is still the American distributor for Fritz Hansen, Artek, and Thonet.