Design Moment: Sarpaneva casserole, 1959
Sarpaneva_castiron_casserole_3.0L_2 for Bargain Hunter Property
If the set designers for Game of Thrones were scouting for some cookware that might fit in an ancient rough and ready setting they could have done worse than look at the work of Finnish designer Timo Sarpaneva (1926-2006).
His sturdy looking, timeless cast iron casserole dish designed in 1959 fits in with the mid-century exploration of work that straddles art, craft and product design.
The multitalented Sarpaneva, who worked as a sculptor, graphic designer and product designer in a range of materials – with a vast output for glass-maker Iittala – designed this cast-iron, enamel-lined casserole so that it could be used in the oven and on the hob and still be appealing enough to be brought to the table.
The teak handle, with the ergonomic groove for handling, is detachable – the idea being it can be carried one-handed.
The handle can then be used to open the lid which would be hot – although opening a handle this way would make you really feel you were around a camp fire.
During the post-war decades, Sarpaneva became a sort of cultural ambassador for his country.
He showed in exhibitions and festivals across Europe and the US from the 1950s and helped establish Finland as a country known for strong, experimental yet useful design.