“It should be remembered that the total personality is involved in the creative process. It is not performed by the skilled hand alone, not conducted by the intellect alone, but by a unified process in which head, heart, and hand play a simultaneous role.” -Herbert Bayer

“My head, heart and hand are infused in, and then float away with, each piece.” -Lisa Issenberg

“It should be remembered that the total personality is involved in the creative process. It is not performed by the skilled hand alone, not conducted by the intellect alone, but by a unified process in which head, heart, and hand play a simultaneous role.” -Herbert Bayer
“My head, heart and hand are infused in, and then float away with, each piece.” -Lisa Issenberg
FOUNDER & OWNER – LISA ISSENBERG

Lisa is based in the small mountain town of Ridgway, Colorado. Since 1991, she has explored all metal disciplines—from fabrication of large-scale steel sculptures to small-scale jewelry design. Her interest in metalwork began during a Tufts University study-abroad program in Greece, sparking further studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston and then to San Francisco State to fully immerse herself in metal design and fabrication.

Issenberg moved from New England to Telluride, Colorado, in the 1990’s initially to ski, hike, and figure out next steps for life back in the real world. In Telluride, she established a jewelry studio and steel shop, and immersed herself in the alpine majesty of the San Juan Mountains. Her signature works during this period were commissioned by Telluride Gallery of Fine Art and many local organizations, including bear-resistant trash and recycling receptacles for the Town of Telluride. She continued her studies, earning a Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn. But Lisa was always pulled back to the mountains, as if by a magnet, filling her spirit and inspiring her design sensibility. She has designed many objets d’art throughout her career, from benches to railings to kiosks and recycling bins, all with her signature look: functional pieces inspired by modern design and nature.

FOUNDER & OWNER – LISA ISSENBERG

Lisa is based in the small mountain town of Ridgway, Colorado. Since 1991, she has explored all metal disciplines—from fabrication of large-scale steel sculptures to small-scale jewelry design. Her interest in metalwork began during a Tufts University study-abroad program in Greece, sparking further studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston and then to San Francisco State to fully immerse herself in metal design and fabrication.

Issenberg moved from New England to Telluride, Colorado, in the 1990’s initially to ski, hike, and figure out next steps for life back in the real world. In Telluride, she established a jewelry studio and steel shop, and immersed herself in the alpine majesty of the San Juan Mountains. Her signature works during this period were commissioned by Telluride Gallery of Fine Art and many local organizations, including bear-resistant trash and recycling receptacles for the Town of Telluride. She continued her studies, earning a Masters in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn. But Lisa was always pulled back to the mountains, as if by a magnet, filling her spirit and inspiring her design sensibility. She has designed many objets d’art throughout her career, from benches to railings to kiosks and recycling bins, all with her signature look: functional pieces inspired by modern design and nature.

WHAT IS KIITELLÄ

Lisa founded Kiitellä in 2012 to focus on the niche of award-making. It is a Finnish word meaning “to thank, applaud or praise.” And it synthesizes what is most important in her work today: living, working, and adventuring in the mountains; honoring nature in design—like the Finns; fulfilling design parameters; digging in with her hands (the art part); and working with so many like-minded people and organizations. She has produced awards for environmental, conservation, and sustainability efforts. For conservation literature and activism. For film festivals and mountaineering organizations. For industry brands with a focus on giving back, reducing impact. Her clients have been as diverse as Visa and The North Face, the American Alpine Club and US Ski & Snowboard.

Kiitellä’s awards are innovative, mixed-media, non-traditional works of art, pieces that celebrate accomplishment, humanity, and philanthropy. These custom-designed creations are fabricated primarily in metal—steel, brass, bronze—combining both industrial processes and handcraft. Each piece is slightly different, or “delightfully imperfect” (Wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy meaning beauty in imperfection).

“The niche of recognition is so enjoyable on all fronts,” Lisa says. “Creating work that celebrates the accomplishments, the exceptional humanity of others – you are a piece of that recognition, that gratitude, through your art.”

WHAT IS KIITELLÄ

Lisa founded Kiitellä in 2012 to focus on the niche of award-making. It is a Finnish word meaning “to thank, applaud or praise.” And it synthesizes what is most important in her work today: living, working, and adventuring in the mountains; honoring nature in design—like the Finns; fulfilling design parameters; digging in with her hands (the art part); and working with so many like-minded people and organizations. She has produced awards for environmental, conservation, and sustainability efforts. For conservation literature and activism. For film festivals and mountaineering organizations. For industry brands with a focus on giving back, reducing impact. Her clients have been as diverse as Visa and The North Face, the American Alpine Club and US Ski & Snowboard.

Kiitellä’s awards are innovative, mixed-media, non-traditional works of art, pieces that celebrate accomplishment, humanity, and philanthropy. These custom-designed creations are fabricated primarily in metal—steel, brass, bronze—combining both industrial processes and handcraft. Each piece is slightly different, or “delightfully imperfect” (Wabi-sabi, a Japanese philosophy meaning beauty in imperfection).

“The niche of recognition is so enjoyable on all fronts,” Lisa says. “Creating work that celebrates the accomplishments, the exceptional humanity of others – you are a piece of that recognition, that gratitude, through your art.”

KIITELLÄ’S STUDIO INSPIRATION WALL

Whether it’s vintage Japanese matchbook art (matchibako) or a Spanish Art Deco poster, a tiny book on Senjafuda shrine tags, a Bauhaus chair, or her Finnish friend’s slipcast salt & pepper set (with a graffiti-inspired design), these are just a few of the works of art that make Lisa’s heart thump and influence her design sensibility.

KIITELLÄ’S STUDIO INSPIRATION WALL

Whether it’s vintage Japanese matchbook art (matchibako) or a Spanish Art Deco poster, a tiny book on Senjafuda shrine tags, a Bauhaus chair, or her Finnish friend’s slipcast salt & pepper set (with a graffiti-inspired design), these are just a few of the works of art that make Lisa’s heart thump and influence her design sensibility.

THE UNIQUE PROCESS & CLIENT JOURNEY 

Working with one person—the artist, designer, and metal fabricator rolled-into-one—the client’s intention is carried through from an initial concept to final weld and polish. The process: The client provides Kiitellä, via email or telephone, with all relevant information that needs to be communicated by the final art piece, both literally and expressed. Kiitellä takes it from there… through design development, and then presenting the client with design schematics. Kiitellä reviews the designs with the client, adjustments are made—revising with the client’s choice of details and materials. A final design is presented and fabrication begins. Note: Lead-time varies per project based on project scale and current workload. Lead-times range from 5-12 weeks from design start to delivery.

THE UNIQUE PROCESS & CLIENT JOURNEY 

Working with one person—the artist, designer, and metal fabricator rolled-into-one—the client’s intention is carried through from an initial concept to final weld and polish. The process: The client provides Kiitellä, via email or telephone, with all relevant information that needs to be communicated by the final art piece, both literally and expressed. Kiitellä takes it from there… through design development, and then presenting the client with design schematics. Kiitellä reviews the designs with the client, adjustments are made—revising with the client’s choice of details and materials. A final design is presented and fabrication begins. Note: Lead-time varies per project based on project scale and current workload. Lead-times range from 5-12 weeks from design start to delivery.

SUSTAINABILITY AT THE CORE OF EVERY PROJECT

Kiitellä is committed to being a responsible steward of our environment. All projects are executed with this ideal in mind. Each step in the process, from design to fabrication to delivery, uses minimal energy and material. Concurrently, a safe and non-toxic work environment is maintained. Kiitellä utilizes local industrial processes and sources locally distributed materials, including recycled and scrap metal, wherever possible. Every project is drawn in CAD, so that exact material dimensions are calculated, and waste is minimized. Leftover materials are either reused or recycled.

SUSTAINABILITY AT THE CORE OF EVERY PROJECT

Kiitellä is committed to being a responsible steward of our environment. All projects are executed with this ideal in mind. Each step in the process, from design to fabrication to delivery, uses minimal energy and material. Concurrently, a safe and non-toxic work environment is maintained. Kiitellä utilizes local industrial processes and sources locally distributed materials, including recycled and scrap metal, wherever possible. Every project is drawn in CAD, so that exact material dimensions are calculated, and waste is minimized. Leftover materials are either reused or recycled.

MOUNTAINS & NATURE’S ORGANIC PERFECTION

With an art studio surrounded by the 14,000-foot peaks of southwest Colorado, it’s no wonder that many of Kiitellä’s trophies and awards are mountain-themed. They are informed by Lisa’s years of experience “cruising around and staring at” these mountains. But, she says, “It is also what we learn from nature… it’s never out of balance… it’s minimal… and there’s a peacefulness in that natural balance. Also, the pure mountain air cleanses the brain space, allowing for good design to flow.” Nature-inspired design. Location and heart in the mountains. 

Kiitellä is a proud member of The Conservation Alliance.

MOUNTAINS & NATURE’S ORGANIC PERFECTION

With an art studio surrounded by the 14,000-foot peaks of southwest Colorado, it’s no wonder that many of Kiitellä’s trophies and awards are mountain-themed. They are informed by Lisa’s years of experience “cruising around and staring at” these mountains. But, she says, “It is also what we learn from nature… it’s never out of balance… it’s minimal… and there’s a peacefulness in that natural balance. Also, the pure mountain air cleanses the brain space, allowing for good design to flow.” Nature-inspired design. Location and heart in the mountains. 

Kiitellä is a proud member of The Conservation Alliance.

PAST WORK: PORTFOLIO 1991-2012

Lisa Issenberg’s early work includes jewelry, furniture, architectural installations, wall hangings, art cars… and more. To view Issenberg’s portfolio of work 1991-2012, including the Rocky Mountain Charm jewelry series, please visit IssenbergDesign.com.

Issenberg’s jewelry is represented by Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

PAST WORK: PORTFOLIO 1991-2012

Lisa Issenberg’s early work includes jewelry, furniture, architectural installations, wall hangings, art cars… and more. To view Issenberg’s portfolio of work 1991-2012, including the Rocky Mountain Charm jewelry series, please visit IssenbergDesign.com.

Issenberg’s jewelry is represented by Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.