Elverket Wed–Sun 11–17 | Sinne closed 18.3–12.4. Next exhibition opens 13.4

3. Bread Omens

Rödugn, 2021

Sand, bricks, firebricks, clay mortar, flat bar, smoke damper, baking sheets, oven doors, spark protection, soot door, padlocks, mineral wool and YOU!

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Rödugn is an interactive, site-specific work, a combined bread and smoke oven that can be used by the public and townspeople. The Bread Omens project was initiated by the artists Jani Anders Purhonen and Elina Rantasuo, and has gradually become a small network of artists and enthusiasts. Bread Omens’ philosophy is firmly rooted in the “learning by doing” tradition, which focuses on the relationship between knowledge and action. With bread baking, right from fermentation processes and doughs to our own ovens, Bread Omens create an interface that allows us to work and engage with old methods and approaches.

In recent years handicraft traditions have undergone a major resurgence. In an ever more rapidly accelerating high-technologized world many people feel a need to turn to something that feels concrete, real and lasting. Creating meaning and producing qualitative content become important. Craft workers and artisans have appeared in the cityscape, but they are a resource enjoyed by the more affluent. Bread Omens looks at the simplicity of sour bread dough, highlighting it as an entry point to creating a context and meaning that belong to us all. Freshly baked sourdough bread brings joy, and anyone can learn to make it.

Bread Omens have primarily worked in popup formats, and this is the first time they have made an oven to occupy a public setting for a long time, and which is open to the public to use on their own. The oven lets people come together, and can serve as a place for arranged or impromptu gatherings intended for baking and making food. It is a platform for exchanging ideas and knowledge, or perhaps it will simply inspire and be the start of something totally different.

Rödugn is Bread Omens’ biggest oven so far, while also having a couple of other functions beyond baking. Here, dampers can be used to redirect the heat so that users can choose to work with a bread or smoke oven. Besides that, the oven has an air space under its outer shell that stores heat, so that people can sit and enjoy the after-heat on the bench shelf.


If you are interested in using the oven, contact Gallery Elverket’s staff.

Make reservations from 21st of June onwards at: or +358403722197 (11 am to 5 pm)

When you reserve the oven you book it for a whole day (from 11 am to 5 pm). You will get an instruction sheet, along with safety instructions that you undertake to follow.

We ask those using the oven to bear in mind that the oven is an artistic project and requires usage with time and patience.

Bread Omens artists will be present: 4-6.6, 31.7, 2.9. Welcome!

Bread Omens also have a constantly growing sourdough archive. Order a sourdough culture or submit your own contribution here:

Jani Anders Purhonen (b. 1982 in Ekenäs) lives and works in Helsinki. He gained his Master’s in visual arts in the Time and Space Arts subject area at the Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki in 2015. In his work Purhonen looks at collective working methods that lower the threshold for coming together around art. He has been an active member of the artist-run art gallery Oksasenkatu 11 and has produced radio programmes for the local station Radio Bekola. Together with Eeva Rönkä, Purhonen runs Bebetton – a small stage for art in the suburb of Roihupelto, Helsinki. Purhonen and Elina Rantasuo started the Bread Omens project during an artist’s residency in Marrakesh in 2018. They have making public ovens ever since, along with running workshops related to bread dough and bread baking. In August, other members of Bread Omens will appear on the Mad House performance stage in Helsinki.

Photo: Eeva Rönkä