Kalasataman taidetalkoot2

This is an update on the park project in Kalasatama. Previous post is here.

After a vote, through facebook and paper form left in a Piggybaggy and City Library community area, the name of the park was decided on – Katiska, a fish trap.

Now for the new additions. The kids from local kindergarten really wanted to come and help with the park, but by the time that was arranged, autumn had arrived. We couldn’t take the 4 and 5 year-olds out on the lashing rain, so we brought the park to them instead. Annika picked up some smaller rocks  and we had a painting session (well, two – one with each age group) and the kids covered the rocks in safe and washable finger paint. As they were painting, we all talked about the park and the kids even taught me some Finnish. Once the rocks were dry, Annika and I varnished them with a weather-resistant paint and brought back to the park, for decoration and also for playing some kind of a Finnish game (I’ll tell you about it once I learn how to play it).

Photo by Annika Niskanen
Photo by Annika Niskanen
Photo by Annika Niskanen
Photo by Annika Niskanen

To get a donation of some used tyres, I contacted various car repair places, addresses of which I found on the official Nokia tyres web page. A lovely guy, who works for one of them, Rengaskeskus,  agreed to donate about 30 tyres for us and even dropped them off to us on his day off. We wanted to use the tyres for sitting, making flower beds and building forts.

Then we held another outdoor painting session. As the temperature was close to zero degrees, only the most hardcore mums and their well wrapped up toddlers took part in the Taidetalkoot (Taide being art, and talkoot – something along the lines of spring clean, a get together of the neighbours to beautify their common areas  and have a bbq afterwards). Nonetheless, this is what we had in the end:

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Kalasataman Taidetalkoot part 1 Painting

Update – an article in Helsingin Uutiset 

I’ve been asked to help with a community project in recently developed district of Kalasatama in Helsinki. Annika Niskanen and Mikko Niemisto are working now to assist the local community in claiming the public space and turning it into a park. After nearly a year of work, they got a city council permission to turn a section of an outdoor public car park into a recreation area. Several meeting with Kalasatama community were called, where the adults and kids of the area designed the hangout area.. Painting the tarmac road and granite rocks in vibrant colours was first in the agenda.IMGP4875

Two weekends were spent in August in the parking lot, rain and shine. Dads particularly enjoyed drawing the traffic map and the game area and painting dragons.IMGP4885IMGP4986IMG_1952 IMG_1960 IMG_1964 IMG_1971 IMG_1973 IMG_1978 IMG_2010


Upcycled I

This table came from a trash bin. Unfortunately I don’t have a before picture, but it did look pretty bad – stained and damp. I painted it with a bit of furniture paint and polished with Walnut oil (another good one to use is linseed – they are much more environmental than synthetic oil and do not rot like  other vegetable oils).



I found some boxes in the bin, alongside easel table legs. I put some baking paper to prevent the glue from leaking into the soil, put some compost it and – Tah- Dah! – planted veg and herbs.



I found a stool in a bin next to Mary Immaculate college in Limerick. I painted the legs and made a soft seat with a removable cover. It is a bar/draft table height.