About me

My name is Saija Lehtonen and I manufacture art crafts of various natural materials, such as bone, horn, skin and wood. Often there is an ideological background in my work and I try to use materials that have also other than monetary values. By doing handicrafts from the material that I have chosen, I wish to show my respect to life and nature.

I´m born in Mid Finland, in Karstula. I graduated in 2006 as a Bachelor of design from the Kuopio Academy of Design, specializing on special techniques. I accomplished my practical training period in Iceland with the skilled artisan Mrs Guðrún Steingrimsdottír.

I have been a member of the Snowchange Cooperative. The ideas behind Snowchange lie within ecologically sustainable activities, and activities that cherish and revitalise local cultures, especially those within the Northern indigenous peoples and Finnish traditions. In that work I took part to the work that the Cooperative did in the Arctic regions with the indigenous peoples. By doing this kind work I have been allowed to familiarize myself with the Sámi culture in Finland, Norway and Russia and also with various indigenous cultures in Siberia, in the Sakha Republic in Russia.


Saija Lehtonen, born 1981
Member of Modus ry
Juminkeko - The Information Center for the Kalevala and Carelian Culture‘s “Young Kalevala Artist of the Year”, 2007

• SQIN - groupexhibition, Eckerö 2017
• Koruja, taidetta ja käsitöitä luonnonmateriaaleista, aulagalleria Vaajakoski 2017
• Näen outoja unia - exhibition with Saul Lehtonen, Galleria Anna, Espoo 2016
• Luon-To, Galleria Palkki, Jyväskylä 2016
• Kuusiston aika -groupexhibition, Kuusiston taidekartano, Kuusistö 2015
• Biomechanical -groupexhibition, Galleria Kapriisi Tampere ja Lasipalatsi Helsinki 2014
• Kalasta nahkaa, Jyväskylän kansalaisopiston aulagalleria, Jyväskylä 2014
• Unirajasta, Galleria 2, Pirkkala 2014
• Unenneulanen, Seitsemisesn luontokeskus, Kuru 2011
• Unenneulanen, Hämeen luontokeskus, Tammela 2011
• Luonnos, Äänekosken kaupungintalo, Äänekoski 2010
• Ihmisen kuva, Hirvitalo, Pispalan nykytaiteen keskus, Tampere 2010
• Lumimuutos - elämää ja perinnettä, Oulangan Luontokeskus, Oulanka 2010
• Lumimuutos - elämää ja perinnettä, Syötteen Luontokeskus, Syöte 2009
• Rajankanto – Bear the Borderline, Hiskin mökki, Äänekoski 2009
• Rajankanto – Bear the Borderline, Heritage Centre Ukko, Koli 2009
• Rajankanto – Bear the Borderline, Artcenter Väinölä, Varkaus 2008
• Rajankanto – Bear the Borderline, Sarajärvi Gallery, Helsinki 2008
• Art works from bone, antler and wood, Burts Tea&Coffee, Kuopio 2007
• Ikimieli – Immemorial consciousness, The Craft Museum of Finland, Jyväskylä, 2007
• Ikimieli – Immemorial consciousness, Juminkeko - The Information Center for the Kalevala and Carelian Culture, Kuhmo, 2007
• Nykyajan alkuvoimaa, Himmeli Gallery, Town Hall of Karstula, 2006
• Nykyajan alkuvoimaa, Kellari Gallery, Kuopio Academy of Design, 2005
• Punontatyö Punos ry’s Koriko? joint exhibition, Lapua, 2004
• Quilt for bed by free style quilting, joint exhibition with the Adult Education Centre, Jyväskylä, 2002

Scholarships and stipends
• Artranta recidency 2016
• Grant, Arts Council of Central Finland, 2011
• Grant, The Finnish Cultural Foundation, North Savo Regional Fund, 2008
• Scholarship, Arts Council of North Savo, 2007

Work experience
• Karstula Community College, handcraft teacher 2009-2011
• Kuopio Community College, teaching in Children's Art School 2008-2009
• Member of the Snowchange Cooperative, on Board since 2005, President since 2008
• The Halonen Museum Trust, Lapinlahti Art Museum, 2004
• Aarsæther Kjøllefjord AS, Kjøllefjord, Norway, 2000–2001

Practical training and excursions
• Snowchange Cooperative. Excursion to Sakha Republic, North East Siberia, Russia about culture, traditional knowledge and climate change, 2006, 2007 and 2010
• Icelandic artisan Guðrún Steingrimsdottír, Akureyri. Bone, horn, felt and leatherwork, 2004.
• Artist Jaana Partanen, preparing and setting up the Viisasten Kivi -exhibition, Lapinlahti Art Museum, 2004

• Saami Education Institute, reindeer leather tanning course, 2007
• Bachelor of Design, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Kuopio Academy of Design, Institute of textile design, specialisation in special techniques, 2006
• Open University of Jyväskylä, Approbatur in customer service and marketing, 2003
• Matriculation examination, High School of Karstula, 2000