“In recent years, I’ve started researching the possibilities of glass”: An interview with designer-cabinetmaker Antrei Hartikainen
Each July, Schloss Hollenegg transforms into a dynamic workshop for design research and experimentation. The Designers in Residence spend the month developing their practice, responding to the historic setting, being inspired by their surroundings and each other. The final work is exhibited at the summer exhibition, which in May 2023 will be focused on glass. – Billie Muraben made an interview with Antrei Hartikainen during his residency.
Can you tell us about your practice?
I implement projects in product design, small series production, installations and sculptures, as well as art and collectable design. I am constantly exploring this middle ground and trying to find interesting things in different roles as a designer, maker and sculptor. Wood has been my main material to work with since 2010, because of my background in woodworking, and in recent years, I’ve started researching the possibilities of glass.
What informs your processes and material choices?
I often seek inspiration from the natural landscape and manmade landscape; from moments I observe in nature and everyday life; and from the scale and details of architecture. I want to challenge the perception of material, which functions and techniques it is suited to. Sometimes the planned work leads to some material or technique, but just as often, the material itself guides the process, and changes the nature of the work. I try to make use of traditional working methods and techniques, and combine them with modern technology.
What drew you to Schloss Hollenegg?
Alice [Stori Liechtenstein] reached out earlier this year, and asked if I would be interested in being part of the residency programme. I was aware of Schloss Hollenegg, and definitely intrigued. I was happy to clear space in my calendar for the residency period, because the opportunity to stay, be inspired and work in such a wonderful and historical place would certainly not come along many times. I deliberately kept the possibilities open. Observing the environment and hearing the history, I got to delve more deeply into the project, and see what direction it would take. I didn’t want to make detailed plans until the residency started, because I wanted to let the place influence my plans as much as possible.
Could you tell us about your connection to the Finnland-Institut?
I have had the privilege to work with the Finnland-Institut in different locations, such as Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Tokyo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. I worked closely with the Institute when I participated in a group exhibition called ‘Wild At Heart’, which opened in Vienna Design Week in 2019, and toured internationally.
Antrei Hartikainen is a designer and master cabinetmaker based in Fiskars Village, Southern Finland. Antrei’s residency was made possible by the Finnland-Institut.