Paavo Tynell: Brass with Sass

Finnish designer Paavo Tynell (1890-1973) was a master of lighting and working with his favorite material, brass. Paavo Tynell began his studies as a tinsmith and continued his education at the school now known as Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. It was while working as a designer at Taidetakomo Koru, Tynell made his first brass lamp and he was immediately drawn to the material. He developed an easily recognizable style by combining a few simple principals – perforated brass metal, an ornamented yet sleek design, a unique lift mechanism and nature as inspiration. Tynell is most well known for his design Lumihiutale (Snowflake), shown below. He also produced pieces for two American companies Lightolier and Litecraft. In addition to his mass produced lighting designs, Tynell created custom pieces for many public spaces, including hotels, train stations and restaurants. Several contemporary Scaninavian modern lighting pieces are inspired by Tynell’s ahead of the curve designs, while his original pieces are highly collectible on today’s auction circuit.
Paavo Tynell lamp
This stunning Tynell rectangular flush mount ceiling light is made of black lacquered brass with pinhole perforations. Part of his Starry Sky series, the brass grid underneath supports a frosted glass diffuser which provides for beautiful light distribution, c. 1950’s.

One of Tynell’s signature designs, the Snowflake chandelier is from his Fantasia series. This model 9065 is from the early 1950’s and is constructed of perforated and enameled brass and metal mesh.

Model no. 9067, this pair of brass and white painted metal ceiling lamps by Tynell were created in the early 1950’s and manufactured by Idman Oy. They have shades of white lacquered aluminum with vertical perforations and a brass diffuser.
Paavo Tynell sconces

Paavo Tynell designed this pair of brass sconces for Lightolier in the 1950’s. Made completely from brass they add a grand scale and glamour to any interior space.

This pair of Starry Sky ceiling lights, model 9068, showcase all the elements Tynell was known for. The perforated metal shades are highlighted with a brass ceiling ring and geometric grid over a glass diffuser. Manufactured by Idman Oy, Finland, circa 1950.

This rare set of four conical ceiling lamps circa mid-1940s, were a custom commission for the Pyhakoski Power Plant in Muhos, Finland. The power plant was designed by Aarne Ervi one of Finland’s most important post-WWII  reconstruction period architects. Constructed of brass with frost glass diffusersand handmade painted tagboard shades. The Parisi’s design style epitomized the modern Italian look of the 1950s. Ico and Luisa founded the design studio La Ruota, in Como in 1948 and their studio became a meeting place for collaborations between established artists and designers of the day.