Portrait Jenni Sokura

Jenni Sokura

Jenni Sokura is a visual artist and jewellery maker living and working in Finland. Through her work she explores Finnish traditions, folklore and the cultural meanings of food.

What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
I guess it has been, and still is, mostly about how you’re treated in the field of contemporary art when your work is jewellery related. I am an artist, my tool is jewellery.

Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your work?
A little bit!

Do you use your own work?
I am a humble person and it might seem like a show off if I would use my own work. Of course it is nice to solve a problem with my skills, let’s say, to be able to make to make a tool for a certain place. But otherwise no.

Do you think cutlery can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
In a world like this, changing and developing so fast, people’s needs might change too, and that can affect the everyday life.

What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
I chose Finnish serpentine, it has wonderful colour variations from different shades of green to brown. These rocks came from North Karelia. I cut out slice after slice and found myself admiring the little details inside the stone. It seemed almost impossible to grind those slices any further, they had it in them already and I felt I might only mess up the inner beauty of the stone. The blocks also offered the outlines which I left as they were. So they are more like ideas of spoons, given straight by the nature. Stone is a hard material but at the same time delicate and sensitive, I enjoy the minimalism they offer. For me all these spoons are like multitools with funny forms. When using these, they can offer other ways to be used, not only the original starting point.

Describe your work in 3 words!
Horn of plenty!

What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
I must say I am not loyal to any specific material. It is problematic to see possibilities in every material I encounter. I like to challenge myself and try to learn new techniques and get to know new materials. At the moment I am getting to know traditional decorative woodworking better. In Finland we are surrounded by trees, so wood is easily available. In the end, combining materials is essential in my work as a whole. It can be anything from readymade and recycled to professional shop’s supply like clay or different types of metals.

What are you working on right now?
I am just starting to get ready for new projects!

What has been your favourite dinner experience?
I like when things stay relaxed even when a lot of effort has been put into the preparation. A long awaited meeting with friends and colleagues is almost always memorable. It is nice to follow how some dishes can get trendy among friends when someone succeed with it once. If you once manage to cook a nice risotto, everybody is soon asking the recipe and making it at home.

What excites you about tomorrow?
Long weekend, holidays coming up!

What further ambitions do you have?
I am dedicated to make contemporary jewellery more well-known, especially here in Finland.

What are your 3 favourite pieces on Jouw…?
I enjoy all of the works by Machteld Lambeets; Stuart Cairns with his endless spoon variations; and I am always delighted with the works by Sophie Hanagarth.