Ilmarinen & the Fire
A Finnish Myth
Words by Fiona Sampson
Illustrated by Louisa Amelia Albani
Since the beginning of human history, we’ve been fascinated by the innovators and inventors who transform society. It’s not surprising myths have sprung up around their mysterious talents: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, even the Greek myth of Icarus and his father Daedalus. Less well-known, outside Finland at least, is the ancient Kalevala story of Ilmarinen, the blacksmith god. A winter’s tale of ice and fire, love and loss, runes and pine forests, it’s retold here in an innovative collaboration by contemporary artist Louisa Albani and poet Fiona Sampson.