Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arty Places #7 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to the laundromat   I discovered another arty place  - BSW OY ( Birch Sewer) in Helsinki, Finland. .
from a magazine article 
On 5 June, it was a wet, fairly cold and grey Tuesday and we had lots of dirty clothes and the unthinkable prospect of another week of  wearing "smelly" clothes before we reached our friend’s home in Oulu.  Determined to locate a laundromat (about a 25 minute walk from our hotel)  we started off with a map, and found some wonderful little streets with quaint shops, formidable buildings and a Swedish designed Gothic revival  Church!
One of the shops I spotted was worth further investigation, once I saw the sewing symbols and the beautiful cheerful orange pansies in the window boxes. I boldly entered and then realised that I couldn’t even pretend to be a customer, as this was a dressmaker’s studio for custom made clothing. But not just any dressmaker! The delightful , talented and exuberant Annu Koivumaki, the owner of the BSW, made me feel very welcome and in a moment, it felt as if we had been friends for years!
Annu is the creative genius of BSW, and has a reputation for making anything wearable that a client wants – from the traditional to the absurd, theatrical to commercial,  babies to adults…There were beautiful and exotic evening dresses, a silver merman's outfit, a little Snow White dress,  Western (cowboy) wedding outfits for a bride and groom.... 
I felt very privileged to be invited into the work rooms at the back of the shop front reception to see Annu’s valued button collection and to meet her also talented and friendly staff. We had a wonderful time sharing photos of our textile art. 
This was one of the highlights of our short stay in Helsinki – thank you Annu for sharing your special “arty” place with me. Please check out more photos at the BSW website. When you are next in Helsinki, please drop in and say hello to Annu. at BSW, Ratakatu 5, 00120 Helsinki.

 (By the way, St John's Church nearby is also worth a visit.  In Ullanlinna, St John's  is  the largest Finnish Lutheran Church with a seating capacity of 2,600, built  in Gothic revival style in the late 1800s with 74 metre twin spires. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John's_Church,_Helsinki

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