Viitasalla Design wins the Finnish Lights On! Jewellery Design Competition with ‘Bound Together’ necklace


During the summer 2016 The Lights On! project organized a competition open to designers, artists and students living in Finland or Estonia to find an innovative piece of jewellery which would be symbolic of the power embedded within historical sites in Finland and Estonia. This competition was won by Salla Viitasalo, the designer of Viitasalla Design, with her ‘Bound Together’ necklace.

‘Bound Together’ necklace comprises of two bronze parts building the main body of the piece and representing the two countries on each side of the Gulf of Finland, Finland and Estonia, bound together by nature like the roots that entwine grasping each other. The piece also wants to give a modern form to the ancient bronze jewellery created in both countries during their history. Together these two pieces form a simple decorative clasp often used in the ancient costume jewellery.

Lights On! project seeks to create a joint network of historical tourist attractions in Finland and Estonia.  In Finland, the attractions in the spotlight are the Kuusisto Bishop’s Castle ruins, the Raseborg Castle ruins, the Rapola Hill Fort and the Vallisaari Fortress. The attractions in Estonia are the Neeruti Hill Fort, the Varbola Hill Fort, the Lõhavere Fortress and the Keila-Joa Historical Manor Park.  The project seeks to encourage people to visit these sites which will hopefully become attractive travel destinations.

The eight glass pendants tell in subtle detail about the specific features of each location participating in the Lights On! project either drawing from the history or the nature of the site:

Raasepori – rose representing Christina, the Rose of Raasepori
Kuusisto – a flying bird from the tale of the poor peasant
Vallisaari – a wing of a bat, known to reside on the area
Rapola – a cereal representing the long history of cultivating the land on the area
Neeruti – lake surface representing the folktale and the lakes Kalevipoeg formed alongside with the hill fort
Lõhavere – a sword representing the historical artifacts found on the area
Varbola – a leaf to tell about the Tree Carving Festival held on the location
Keila-Joa – waterfalls specific for the location

The jewellery piece has been created by hand using the contemporary metal clay and glass clay techniques. In both of these techniques the fine metal or glass powder is mixed with a binder substance and water to create a clay-like mass which can be handled fairly similarly than clay when creating ceramics. After the piece is formed by hand it will enter a kiln process where the binder burns out and the metal sinters or glass melts joining the particles to a solid piece.

The process is known for it’s original way of showing the metal clay artist’s personal touch and way of working in the details of the finalized piece – very different from the contemporary mechanically produced jewellery. The main piece of the necklace has been created of a pale shade of bronze, the pendants from opal-shade glass in green, grey, blue and rose colours.

The piece has been joined together with a grey suede necklace. Even if the bronze piece is primarily meant to be worn clasped together, each of the bronze pendants can be worn as separate pendants either with or without the glass pendants.

Viitasalla Design website:

For more information on the Lights On! project visit