What attracts 50 000 Visitors to a Fair?

Sari Roivas presented her jewellery line in at the Finnish Craft & Design Fair.

Handicrafts Attract 50 000 Visitors to Fair

An amazing festival. Three days. More than 50 000 visitors.

According to organizers, the Finnish Craft and Design Fair at Tampere is the largest handicraft event in Europe. It presents a variety of goods ranging from international design wares to cosy wool socks. This is handicrafts and DIY culture at its finest!

The main theme of Tampere region’s ECoC bid is equality. We also declare: More edge! More sauna! More village-hopping! More play!

The Finnish Craft & Design Fair suits these themes perfectly. And the success of the fair shows that everyone has the desire and the need to create with their hands.

From Shampoo Bottles to Jewellery

In the crowded exhibition centre, teeming with nearly 800 exhibitors, we came across Nokia-based Sari Roivas and her jewellery. The tiny pieces of jewellery have caught the eye of professionals in the vast number of fair displays. Roivas’s recycled jewellery gained her a spot as a finalist in the Artisan of the Year 2019 competition.

“My dream is to become a handicraft entrepreneur,” says Sari Roivas, who is getting her artisan’s diploma in Glass Jewellery Design from the Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design in December.

“It is challenging. As this fair shows, there is so much on offer. But as my spot in the final of the Artisan of the Year says, people have really liked my designs. The panel complimented me on my technique, on how meticulous my work is.”

The panel had this to say about Roivas’s jewellery: “The products display a versatile and vibrant colour palette and an idiom expressing the visual skills of the finalist. The products are of high quality, carefully finished and wonderfully marketable. The panel greatly appreciates the recycling of materials and the re-using approach.”

Roivas creates recycled plastic jewellery from shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles, occasionally embellishing them with such elements as Swarovski crystals.

“I have commissioned my neighbours and friends to bring me their plastic waste. I myself don’t choose my shampoo according to my hair type anymore, but rather according to the colour of the bottle. I want to encourage recycling and ethical thinking.”

Roivas is on study leave from her day job at a collection agency.

“Now I need to decide, whether to keep working part-time at the office or whether I can dedicate myself to this craft full-time.”

The Finnish Craft & Design Fair continues until Sunday 17 November at the Tampere Exhibition and Sports Centre. Last year, the fair attracted a little over 50 000 visitors. This record might be broken this year.

PS. Sari Roivas eventually didn’t win the Artisan of the Year title, which went to Jenni Vanhanen from Vihti.

Vanhanen’s Iltamaa company uses design software to create rya rugs from patterns such as photographs and paintings, using image recognition and algorithms. Iltamaa is an interesting merge of service design and modern rya rugs made from all-natural fibres.

According to the jury, the software ingeniously combines new technology and traditional handicrafts.

Congratulations to Jenni Vanhanen!

Sari Roivas makes recycled jewellery out of shampoo bottles.


Torsti Mäkinen is a young entrepreneur creating ecological, sustainable design and woodworks.


Maija Onnela presents a reflector shoulder belt by Ovelia.


Doll houses are also on display at the Finnish Craft & Design Fair.