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.