A Finnish jewelry artist and self-taught tattooist, Helmi Lindblom is fascinated by the beauty in oddity. She aims to evoke a sense of wonder through her work, often using mixed media with a pinch of goldsmithing. Her series “Ode to Cloudberries” originated in the need for pale colors, after what the artist describes as “a year filled with loud cries of sadness and happiness, play and children’s toys in rainbow colors.” Her work became compassionate, almost fragile, and grew into a series merging maternity with her artist identity. “Cloudberries” is a discussion of materials (shells and balloons), but the focus remains on their tactile poetry. The color palette, inspired by Lindblom’s daughter’s sunlit ears, took on an orange tinge, a metaphor for the cloudberry as it ripens.
After a year filled with loud cries of sadness and happiness, play and children’s toys in rainbow colors, I feel like my mindset is knitted to pale colors, whispers and fragile aesthetics. In this series tactility becomes a poem and whimsy is serious. Don´t worry, I still believe that all this seriousness might be temporary. Humor is not forgotten, but it is hidden in my choices of materials.
My Finnish given name translates to Pearl (Helmi) and because of this mermaidy name I´ve always thought that I´d never be bold enough to use pearls or shells in my work. This came to change after I developed a grown-up need for poetry. I decided to use traditional materials and techniques and ended up in a room filled with shells, balloons and condoms. Typical.
The shells that I use are bought secondhand. The balloons are frosted with baby laughter and therefore transparent. The condoms are from the `maternity box` that the Finnish government gives out as a kind of survival kit to new parents. These materials are packed with values as ecosystems decline, meeting the basic needs of a growing human population. I feel that jewelry is the right platform for these thoughts that everyone should carry, wondering how one person´s wellness can be another´s illness.
This series is about values. Mine and ours. I sit and ponder how safety can be a decision depending on ones’ choices. These pieces explore the traditional alongside the unexpected. Colors are toned down but surfaces still create a body to titillate the eye, but hopefully more the morals.
This is my Ode to Cloudberries.
Photo credits to Laura Pulkkinen