Hi! I’m Inka Kuivalainen, 26 year old soon-to-be craft teacher and entrepreneur. I’m from Pieksämäki and moved through Savonlinna to study in Joensuu in the University of Eastern Finland. I cherish and love crafts traditions so I feel it was only a matter of time when I ended up to find the beauty of birchbark crafts. My internship brought me together with SaimaaLife and Mari’s love for birchbark. It swept me too and with the first touch I fell in love with birchbark as material. Mari introduced me to her friend, old Finnish birchbark artist Kaija Karri. From her I got my first lessons for my own journey with birchbark. With the encouragement of my own mother I on the other hand established Tuohinka. 

Through Tuohinka I’ve been able to develop myself as birchbark artist. I’ve also experienced many wonderful encounters among it. To Tuohinka I’ve also combined my other interest, Japan and Japanese culture. Even though we live on the other sides of the world I feel that Finnish and Japanese people are soulmates.

I feel that when I’m in touch with birchbark, I deepen my nature relationship. I live in the city but that way I can also get connected with nature. When I work with birchbark I focus on feeling and “talking” with it. Birchbark as a material is interesting, and it does not always fit to the products that I’d like it to fit. It has its own will. However, I like also the challenging side of it and I love the feeling of harmony when I interact and am connected with birchbark.

Let birchbark's inspire and help you to connect with nature too!

Welcome to follow me on Instagram @tuohinka

- Inka