Kai Salo started working with pewter back in the late 1970s and was a pioneer of modern pewter design. The first Edward pewter set, designed by Salo and manufactured by Turun Hopea Oy, was introduced in 1980 and was the best-selling pewter set in Finland for a long time. Salo created Edward after about six months of development. The Edward pewter series is of Nordic design, ascetic and clear-cut, although there is a certain aristocratic quality to the name. In 1987, Edward was joined by the romantic Juliet collection, which appealed to a very different type of clientele who were fond of rich decoration and soft lines.
The Sampo series manufactured by TinArte Oy, was launched in 1999. The Kalevala-inspired series immediately aroused great interest not only in Finland but also internationally. The basic design of the pewter series occupied Kai Salo for about a year and a half. He initially had about thirty different ornamental ideas, but no other theme fitted every part of the series like this final pattern. The starting point is the fishgig, with which people in ancient times fished with a jacklight gig. The Sampo series is an 18-piece tableware set with goblets, spoons and beer mugs. The special feature of Sampo is its dark matte finish, the result of an etching process.
Kai Salo found pewter to be an ideal material for the designer because of its malleability. He did not design the pewter dishes to be merely decorative, as the many properties of pewter made it suitable for the dining table. These pewter dishes were safe to use for food and drinks. Hot stays hot and cold stays cold. In addition, pewter is lightweight and retains its brightness for decades, and does not tarnish in the same way as silver.