During the calmer periods of stationary war 1941-44, the soldiers passed time by making various kinds of trench art out of wood, metal, leather and other materials they could get their hands on. The headquarters did not always like the fact that the soldiers were making ash trays instead of digging trenches, but on the other hand they recognized an opportunity to get usable objects manufactured for the home front and at the same time keeping spirits high at the frontline. So eventually the making of trench art was supported with competitions being arranged and an sub-organisation to Lotta Svärd, called Trench art sales centre was founded to take care of orders for special items and re-selling of trench art. Items traded through the centre were marked with a triangular stamp with the text RINTAMATYÖ (trench art) and sometimes also the unit where it was manufactured. The activities of the centre grew rapidly; in 1944 there were 40 sub-centres, a permanent exhibition at the Civil guards house in Helsinki and a sales network covering the whole of Finland.
Trench art knives
Trench art boxes