Tarmo Thorström: A forward-thinking lace artist | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4689
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4697


Finnish lace artist Tarmo Thorström redefines the conventional understanding of lace, conceiving it as an absence rather than a presence – a philosophical stance that permeates his innovative bobbin lace creations. His artistic repertoire interlaces disparate themes, transgressing the boundaries of traditional lace artistry. The city of Rauma, located on Finland’s western coast, serves as both muse and canvas, showcasing Thorström’s evocative works in its urban landscape and holding annual bobbin lace festivals to commemorate this living tradition. Thorström’s engagement extends beyond artistic production, encompassing pedagogical and research endeavours that traverse the fields of craft education and studying materials. This multifaceted involvement is underscored by his publications, notably a work on bobbin lace crafting, highlighting its significance within the continuum of cultural heritage. Moreover, Thorström’s artistic praxis embodies sustainability imperatives, evident in his repurposing of discarded materials, such as reclaimed bobbins and threads. This ethos aligns with broader discourses on sustainable crafting practices and material ecologies. Beyond craft, Thorström’s artistic output serves as a locus for profound philosophical contemplation on the nature of existence and humanity’s relationship with the cosmos. This portrait article situates Thorström’s original approach within the larger discourse on materiality and artistic practice, shedding light on the transformative potential of lace as a medium for philosophical and artistic expression.


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  1. Tarmo Thorström’s CV: https://www.thorstrom.com/cv. Accessed 1 June 2023.
  2. Tarmo Thorström on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@TarmoThorstrom. Accessed 1 June 2023.
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