Alvar Aalto 60 stool 2019 FIN / JPN edition ColoRing

by Artek

New 2019 special edition stools commentating Finland and Japan work together.

2019 marks the 100-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan. Artek – a quintessentially Finnish company - uses the centennial to explore the relationship between the two countries and unite the two cultures in creative fusion. The result is Artek’s FIN/JPN Friendship Collection, launching at Salone de Mobile, Milan in April 2019. Created in collaboration with leading Japanese and Finnish designers, architects and craftsmen, the collection is comprised of products that offer thoughtful takes on the similarities and differences between Finland and Japan. Despite their geographical separation the countries share a deep kinship; both pursue the essence of a simple life, possess an affinity with nature, a love of silence, a reduced visual language and a respect for craftsmanship. The collection epitomises these qualities, bringing both careful consideration and playfulness to bear, in order to commemorate a century of friendship. One of the marks of friendship is good conversation, and the collection, produced in Japan and Europe, can be seen as a shared, on-going conversation between two cultures. Offering interventions on classic Artek products and contemporary designs, combinations of expertise and traditional craftsmanship from Finland and Japan, the FIN/JPN Collection celebrates this unique “soulmate” relationship.

Jo Nagasaka’s fresh approach to traditional Japanese craft is renowned for its novel and contemporary expression. Thus, the Tokyo-based architect and designer was a natural partner for Artek’s FIN/JPN Friendship Collection. Nagasaka set out to apply his research on surface treatments to Artek’s beloved classics. Experimenting with the age-old practices of Udukuri and Tsugaru-nuri, Nagasaka merges them into his own original process, resulting in what he calls ColoRing. For ColoRing, soft-grained pinewood is used as surface veneer. Nagasaka creates an uneven wood surface by removing softer parts with a hard-haired brush, accentuating the natural grain of the wood (Udukuri). Two layers of colored lacquer are then added, only to be subsequently sanded away to partially unveil the layers beneath (Tsugaru-nuri). The results are surprising colour combinations and irregular patterns that evoke topographical maps. With the wooden structure remaining partly visible, natural beauty is retained while creating intriguing juxtapositions. To produce the ColoRing series Artek translated these traditionally fully-manual techniques into a semi-industrial process, allowing the collection to be brought to a wider audience. Made in Finland, the Stool 60, Bench 153B and Tea Trolley 901 treated with the ColoRing technique are available worldwide.


Artek’s Stool 60, designed by Alvar Aalto, is one of the icons of Finnish furniture design. Aalto stool is still today a beautiful, genius product, whose simple shape will always be modern. The 60 stools are perfect extra chairs, easily stackable as a beautiful tower when they are not needed. At the same time, Aalto stool can be used as a small table, for instance next to an armchair or in the bedroom.

Aalto’s three-legged Stool 60 was presented for the first time in 1933 and it was a sensation in the design world of its time. The stool’s revolutionary L-leg structure was a major boost for all the modern Scandinavian design. To bend the leg of Aalto’s stool, the same technique is still in use: a piece of straight, solid birch was sawn open at the end in the direction of the fibres, forming the shape of a fan. Thin pieces of plywood were then glued in the grooves. This structure makes it possible to bend the wood by heating or steaming the desired angle and when dry, it will have a very strong texture that can be easily joined to the seat.

Manufacturer: Artek

Design: Alvar Aalto

Height: 44 cm Diameter: 38 cm

Material: Painted and lacquered birch

Weight: 3 kg Notes: Comes flat-packed.