Collection of mittens made of recycled leather and fur from wild rabbits caught as pest control in Helsinki.
Kanirukka* is my ongoing art project. The project is a study of human-nature relationships that exist in modern city life. It explores the different roles animals have in our daily lives, focusing on the contradictions, hypocrisies and obsessions of our attitudes towards wild animals living alongside us in the city.
In this project I have created a design concept for a collection of mittens and hats made of recycled leather and fur from wild rabbits hunted as pest control in the Helsinki area.
The Kanirukka design concept returns to the roots of Finnish folk tradition in search of inspiration for an environmentally, economically and socially responsible approach towards design. The concept is informed by hunter-gatherer culture, the natural lifestyles of nomadic tribes of the Arctic circle. The aim of my project is to seek design solutions where the environmental values and handicraft traditions of the Arctic peoples are applied in our modern urban culture.
Through a slow process and trial and error I have taught myself to skin animals, prepare their skins and produce garments out of them. Wild rabbit skins often have faults and imperfections in them. The idea is to use waste material that is not suitable for commercial clothing industry to create beautiful luxury garments. Kanirukka garments are produced locally - handmade from start to finish. Each product is unique.
*The name Kanirukka and Kanirukkaset is a play on the Finnish words poor rabbit and mittens.
The Kanirukka project has been funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Alfred Kordelin Foundation, Kone Foundation and Tokyo ry.