Kasper – Textile Sculptures by Santeri Mortti Valtanen

Santeri Mortti Valtanen (b.1993) is an artist and designer who lives and works in Helsinki. He is currently studying at the Master’s program in Textile Design at the Aalto University Arts department.  He has been part of the Johanna Gullichsen team since early 2018.

Valtanen has used freehand embroidery on Johanna Gullichsen cotton fabric, creating a series of animal characters called Kasper. Each piece is unique and hand-made with a sewing machine.

” A little over one year ago, I made a textile sculpture as a gift for my young friend Kasper for his 2nd birthday. This series is a continuum of that.” Santeri tells and continues: “The first sculpture was made of Doris fabric, filled with fabric and sewing yarn spill. I showed the piece to Johanna, and we came up with the product idea of combining embroidery with Johanna Gullichsen’s fabrics.”

” The characters are rooted in my fascination for horses and wild cats. These animals might seem to be tamed, but they are wild, and each has its character. The sculptures can be used as a keychain or decorative object. I hope they will bring joy to their owners,” Valtanen says.

The first Kaspers were out in summer 2020, both in Japan and Finland. They were sold out in a few days. The second batch arrived at Johanna Gullichsen Helsinki store in April 2021.

Valtanen has also carved wooden characters throughout his whole life. He mainly uses Swiss chisels and a Dozuki saw. In this series of wooden animals, the same characters continue their adventures in different materials. Even though he studies textile-related design, he sees himself as a sculptor.  Valtanen will graduate with a master of arts in summer 2021; we can hardly wait to see his upcoming artwork!