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Wartsila – Arabia Finland, Finel Enamel Ware

Finel "Knights" Raija Uosikkinen

Wärtsilä (The owning company of Arabia Finland at the time) produced domestic enamel metal items starting in the early 1950s after their earlier takeover of company Kone-ja Siltarakennus in 1938. By by the 1950s the popularity of their enamel ware meant they were producing over 500,000 items per year.

In the early 1960s Wärtsilä rebranded their enamel ware division as Finel, and form designer Kaj Franck along with several of the Arabia pattern designers took their enamel ware in a new and very popular direction. The enamel ware out of Finel/Arabia from this era is now highly collectable and valued, by lovers of Scandinavian 20th Century Design.

Raija Uosikkinen and Esteri Tomula were two of these Wartsila/Arabia/Finel designers.

Recently I came across this stunning large enamel ware bowl with the “Knights” (Fi: Ritari) pattern by Raija Uosikkinen

Finel "Knights" Raija Uosikkinen

Finel “Knights” Raija Uosikkinen

 

Because this ware was enamel on steel, it is now hard to find a piece without some level of chipping or wear to the enamel – but on bowls like the one above I think this light wear just adds to the charm of the design.

More after the page break: 

Finel "Vegeta" - Esteri TomulaFinel “Vegeta” – Esteri Tomula, via Laatutavara.com

These enamel ware pieces were usually marked “Wärtsilä Finel, Made in Finland” (which in most cases is long worn off)

Wartsila label

 

An original catalogue from the era can be found on Issuu here:

An also many of the Finel designs from this era can be also be seen on THIS Finish website (Laatutavara.com)

 

 

 

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