Arabia Finland designs Anemone and Rosmarin were patterns designed by Ulla Procope, both around the same time. I see variations between the exact dates, but both appeared to have been in production c1962 to c1976. I have seen Anemone described as being in production until 1993, but only from 1 source.
The designs are on the same “S” shape series of forms as was “Ruska” and several other designs.
I find it fascinating how just a single colour can transform the appearance and often monetary value of otherwise the same object. Perhaps it has something to do with changing tastes. The brown reddish iron oxide of Rosmarin might remind too many people of the 1970s or 1980s whereas the blue of Anemone seems more timeless.
Anemone tends to bring much higher prices on the resale market than Rosmarin.
The pattern is the same, and forms are the same – its only the colour that is different. This colour though changes the appearance of how the design ‘sits’ on the surface, in addition to the human eye often having a preference for blue colours over brown.
There are also more variations in intensity of colour in Rosmarin than in Anemone – the strength of the iron in the colour can vary from an almost wash-like appearance on some pieces of Rosmarin, to a wide range of dark and light iron oxide hues on other pieces. Anemone doesn’t seem to have quite the same variations.
It may also have something to do with the chemical difference between the 2 oxides – cobalt for Anemone, and iron for Rosmarin. Regardless though, I find it all quite interesting how colour can transform the same object.
Arabia Finland Anemone
Arabia Finland Rosmarin
Arabia Finland Anemone
Arabia Finland Rosmarin
Ulla Procope was the designer of the forms for this now iconic series of teapots by Arabia Finland. It was produced from 1955 to 1972 in a hard earthenware. There were 2 sizes that Im aware of. There were also accessories such as a such bowl and milk jug which you don’t see very often now.
The simple, streamlined and elegant modernist form with its cane or rattan handle has become a classic, and much loved design.
It was released several plain colours including plain white, stoneware brown and black (in both matt and gloss finishes)
Probably though, it is the designs by Hilkka Liisa Ahola on the GA forms which have become the best known and most often seen nowadays.
Arabia Finland GA3 Teapot, Ulla Procope
Arabia Finland GA3 Teapot, Hilkka Liisa Ahola Sunflower Pattern
Until recently I had thought that the well known Arabia Finland “Kaarna” design was by Ulla Procope (1921-1968). However, more research recently has made me question this. The Finnish websites “laatutavara” and “dishwareheaven” both attribute the design to Goran Back, as do a number of other sources. Unfortunately the authoritative book “Arabia” by Design Museo Finland doesn’t list the design.
To throw confusion into the mix, another design “Mahonki” is often confused with Kaarna.
One thing is clear though – Mahonki and Kaarna all have the same forms or models which are known to be designed by Goran Back.
The form is referred to as the “GD3” series of forms
Mahonki is most often referred to as being a design by Ulla Procope – but this refers to the design of glaze colour and style, not the form.
To complicate the background of these designs, Ulla Procope died in 1968 at about the same time these designs were being released, so the probability is that both Kaarna and Mahonki were collaborative works – which may have been completed after Ulla’s early death. Read more
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
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: Read more
This is a piece I haven’t come across before.
The design of course is “Ali”, from Arabia Finland. The decor by Raija Uosikkinen and form by Kaj Franck. This is a large teapot, at least 4-6 cup capacity.
I love the gently tapering form and the overall balance of the design – made doubly impressive by the blue “Ali” variation by Raija c1960s for Arabia.
See my previous post on the work of Raija Uosikkinen HERE
Arabia Finland, Ali Blue Teapot
Anja Jaatinen-Winquist (b 1934 – ) started with Arabia Finland in the late 1960s while the company was going through a rapid period of change and expansion, and she continued working at Arabia in the product design department until 1974.
She designed several tableware services for Arabia including the M model “Karelia” with its iron oxide decoration, “Saara” (in production 1971-1976), and also Kalevala, and Paju (which came in both blue and yellow variations)
Anja was also a very skilled wheel thrower and made one-off items for the art department…although these works are very hard to find now.
Arabia Finland Saara
Arabia Finland Saara
Arabia Finland Paju Blue/Yellow
This series of designs from Arabia Finland were designed by Raija Uosikkinen to celebrate the 10oth Anniversary of Arabia Finland in 1975. As far as I know there are three designs in the series – 100, 101, and 102, and they were produced during 1971-1975 in limited numbers.
Each scene features a bucolic rural village drawing in cobalt blue, on a greyish white stoneware clay. The plates are dinner plate size – about 26cm diameter. The blue designs also have beautiful line patterns and decorative textures.
The plates don’t seem to be as well known as Raija’s “Kalevala” annual plates starting 1976 and her Christmas plates starting in 1978. This is possibly due to their more limited production.
On the back some designs just have the design number and the Arabia backstamp – i.e. 100, 101 etc, and some have in addition the number of the edition.
Arabia 100th Anniversary Plate 102
Arabia 100th Anniversary Plate 101
A superb recent find. At first glance I thought this was a variation of the iconic “Emilia” series by Raija Uosikkinen, but it turns out to be from a series of designs called “Kauppatori”, in the same drawn style as Emilia but quite different when you look at it more closely.
The design seems to be very rare, and from what I can see only on 2 forms – both deep serving plates.
It is named after the famous Market Square in Helsinki, Finland….one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city.
The design features similar charming characters to those in “Emilia” but the townscape, market characters, the use of green, as well as black line drawing set the design apart.
There is a fantastic Finnish website HERE where a lot of research as gone into the history of “Emilia” and all the designs like this one, related to it. I often refer to it
Arabia Finland Kauppatori