Heikki Seppä

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Heikki Markus Seppä, also known as Heiki Seppa (March 8, 1927 – May 18, 2010)[1] was a Finnish-born American master metalsmith,[2] educator, and author. He taught at Washington University in St. Louis,[1] from 1965 to 1992.

Early life and education[edit]

Heikki Seppä was born in Säkkijärvi, Finland. In 1941 he studied metalsmithing at Goldsmith's School in Helsinki, and later at the Georg Jensen silver factory in Copenhagen.[3] In 1950 he emigrated with his first wife to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Then they moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he attended Cranbrook Academy of Art.


Seppä taught art in Louisville, Kentucky from 1960 to 1965. He later taught at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University in St. Louis[4] from 1965 until his retirement at 1992 as Professor Emeritus. He was a founding member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths [Wikidata].[5] His metal sculptures are in private collections, as well as in museums including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Replicas of Seppä's sculpture "The Search" are given to awardees of the Eliot Society's "Search Award" at Washington University.[6]

Personal life[edit]

For much of his childhood, Seppä lived in a children's home until leaving at age 14 to attend the Goldsmith's School. His first wife emigrated with him from Finland and they stayed together until her passing in 1993. In 1998, he moved to Bainbridge Island, Washington and married metalsmith Laurie A. Lyall. He died at his Bainbridge home at age 83.[7]



  • Form Emphasis for Metalsmiths (1978) ISBN 978-0-87338-212-0


  1. ^ a b "Heikki Seppä". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2021-12-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Oral history interview with Heikki Seppa. 2001 May 6". Archives of American Art, Smithsonian. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  3. ^ "Remembering: Heikki Seppä". American Craft Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  4. ^ "Silver Wear: Jewelry Commemorates Craft Alliance Anniversary". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO. September 3, 1989. p. 159. Retrieved September 10, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  5. ^ "In Memoriam: Heikki Seppä". Society of North American Goldsmiths. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011.
  6. ^ "Eliot Society members gather to celebrate university's accomplishments". The Source. 2018-06-06. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  7. ^ "Heikki Seppä | Bainbridge Island Review". Bainbridge Island Review. 2010-05-18. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  8. ^ "Priory Honoree: Desloge Is 11th to Get Luke Rigby Award". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, MO. February 4, 1996. p. 134. Retrieved September 9, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. open access