Jorma Heiskanen

Sievi (1952)

Jorma Heiskanen is originally from Sonkajärvi in the eastern Finland and now lives in Ostrobothnia on the west coast. He has carved wood since he was a little boy. He trained first as a gardener, but decided then to become a carpenter, and has never looked back. Unlike so many of his fellow ITE artists, Heiskanen started his art-making well before the retirement age, and has been a freelance artist for the past ten years.

Heiskanen’s wooden sculptures and reliefs take their themes from his home and its surroundings, the Sievi landscape with its fields and woods. The artist is fascinated by the country life with its everyday chores, and he chisels this life into the wooden pictures.

Wooden sculptures are created with a chain-saw, and familiar themes emerge: bears, seals, rhinos, eagles as well as a number of other traditional domestic animals and more exotic ones. Animal figures are disarming and resemble the models as faithfully as possible. It is, therefore, only natural that when local farmers celebrate their 50th birthday, Heiskanen is commissioned to create a handsome sow, and, perhaps, some suckling piglets. He is working on a life-size horse sculpture at the moment.

A typical Finn, wood artist Jorma Heiskanen has been able to combine work, hobby and home in the same place; to a father-of-eight, this is bliss.

Jorma Heiskanen’s work is displayed all over Finland, in nature parks, playgrounds and with private owners.

Text: Elina Vuorimies. Photos: Minna Haveri.