Figgjo Lotte Norway, A Turi Design
“lotte”, a dinnerware service designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver, is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable and iconic Scandinavian patterns of the mid 20th Century.
It has a charm and popularity that has endured, and remains to this day immensely popular and collectable around the world…and especially here in Australia. It was in production from 1962 right up until 1985.
Turi Gramstad Oliver (b1938 -) started with Figgjo in 1960 and worked with them for over 20 years producing some of their most loved designs. She was trained as a ceramist by Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Oslo 1956-1958, while working in the pottery studio of Kari Nyquist in Bergen until 1960 .
Before graduating she worked at Stavangerflint with Inger Waage. She also had workshop practice in Britain in 1961.
Soon after starting at Figgjo, Turi had designed Lotte, and there was a second release of the design in 1972 – which seems to be when most of the lotte which we come across these days is from.
There isn’t a lot of difference between the look of the 2 series – but in the first series some pieces like the plates and soup bowls had rims or lips rather than a rimless or “coup” shape. The coup main plate is also about 1cm wider.
As far as I can see all the motifs are the same in both series. Some pieces feature just a female character, some both male and female, and some just male. Usually if there is just one character on a piece – there is a corresponding opposite design – e.g. there are both male and female designs for the trivets, plates, bowls etc.
The charming designs on Lotte, often depicting a man and/or woman with floral and garden elements seem to be in some form of national dress – but they are not. The designs are simply creative and whimsical ideas from Turi – often reminding me of some of Bjorn Wiinblads characters on his work.
Figgjo backstamps can seem confusing and contradictory during the period that Lotte was made due to company restructures and renaming.
All of the Figgjo dinnerware from 1960 onwards are made of vitreous china – making it very hard, craze resistant and very tough. There is good explanation of Figgjo history on its official website.