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
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
Arabia Finland, Esteri Tomula – Fennica
Often you will come across designs from different eras being given the same name…even though by the same manufacturer.
This is the case here with Arabia Finland “Fennica”. This beautifully intricate and delicate floral design featured is one by Esteri Tomula for Arabia Finland on forms by Brita Heilimo.
This Fennica design was in production 1953-1974, and very different from the later “Fennica” c 1970s which had the same forms as Arabia Ruska in a plain cream colour. ( I have seen slightly different dates for production – but I think the one above is most accurate).
On some of the designs of Fennica, the colour scheme is blue/green/grey as in the first photograph. On other variations of the design the colour scheme is blue, pink and grey as seen in the 3rd. photograph. There may be some other variations which I haven’t come across.
In a previous post on the work of Esteri Tomula for Arabia I wrote about how she was inspired by the flora of Finland which is certainly evident in this design, with its beautifully hand painted flowers and leaves, and delicate white “pearls” of enamel on some of the flowers.
This series seems to have consisted of decor items such as vases, boxes, decorative plates etc.
Inkeri Leivo – Arabia Finland – Pudas Arctica
The design featured here is “Pudas Arctica” by Inkeri Leivo (1944-2010), which is a variation of her now 20th Century design classic “Arctica” – which is still in production today.
The design for Arctica began in 1975 and was in production by 1979. Pudas Arctica was in production up until c1981.
Arctica has continued to evolve, with new variations even now still being added by current designers.
Arctica was designed as a large dinner service including baking dishes, tureen etc. The design featured a slimmer and more elegant profile than previous Arabia designs due to new technologies.
The roundness of the design while being very contemporary, also alludes to the elegant forms of the 1930’s Art Deco era.
Inkeri had began her career in Arabia in 1971, and her clean, light and graceful designs were a change from the heavier forms coming out of Arabia Finland in the 1970s. Amongst others, Inkeri also designed the popular “Saaristo”, “Kombi” “Harlekiini” & “Uhtua” lines.
Arabia Finland “Venus”, Hilkka Liisa Ahola
What a stunning design. This is “Venus”, designed by Hillka Liisa Ahola for Arabia Finland c1965.
The design features a mandala like motif in deep blues and aquamarine, resembling batik patterns which were hugely popular at the time. It is very similar to a design Hilkka created for a series of wall tiles 1967-1973.
From what I can find out the series consisted of lidded jars and canisters, and flat cheese boards or trivets. I love the shape of the domed lids with their round handles in this series, which remind me of the forms of Midwinter Stonehenge which came a bit later.
It was in production from 1965 to 1976 and seems to be quite a rare design these days.
Arabia Finland Venus – Hilkka Liisa Ahola
Arabia Finland Valencia, Ulla Procope
Valencia was designed by Ulla Procope in 1960 and became so popular it continued until around 2002.
It is one of the standout designs to come out from Arabia Finland in the second half of the 20th Century.
It continues to be one of the most desirable and valuable (on the resale market) Arabia Finland dinnerware designs.
The design features an intense cobalt blue oxide painted onto a white ground, with the deep cobalt blue covering almost the entire surface.
It was designed in an era when there were a large number of employees decorating products. For example In 1960 there were still 175 employees hand decorating wares. It is unfortunate this labour intensive work is no longer economical – even though the output of each painter every day was huge.
Often other Arabia Finland designs with this strong cobalt blue pattern are confused with, and sold as Valencia – for example Köökki (a design by Gunvor Olin Gronqvist) is one often mistaken as the Valencia design simply because of its bold cobalt blue design.
Like many of these highly patterned designs, it is hard to appreciate the effect of the overall look until you see a whole set of the pieces together, as in the last photo.
Arabia Finland Valencia Sugar Bowl
Arabia Finland Valencia Tea Cup
Arabia Finland Valencia Tea Cup base.
Arabia Finland, Raija Uosikkinen
Raija Uosikkinen (1923- 2004) worked as a painter and decoration designer at Arabia Finland 1947-1986. She and Esteri Tomula were pivotal to the success of Arabia Finland when the product lines were revamped in the later 1940s and 1950s. Kaj Franck was responsible for most of the forms or shapes which the designs by Raija and Esteri were added to.
The very popular design “Ali” by Raija Uosikkinen designed in 1964 was produced until 1975. It came in both Blue and Brown variations, but the blue seems to be the more popular. “Ali” was also the last design on copperplate from the Arabia Finland factory.
Arabia Finland, Ali Design – Blue, Large Jug
The large jug in Ali design above is currently for sale on Etsy HERE
Arabia Finland, Ali Design – Blue, Large Platter
Arabia Finland, Ali Design – Blue, Large Bowl
Arabia Finland, Ali Design – Brown Plate
Arabia Finland, Ali Design – Brown
One of Raija’s most coveted , and now most expensive designs to purchase on the secondary market is the beautiful “Emilia” which was produced c1957-1966. It features charming crisp black and white graphics of a whimsical nature – some purported to be about the daily life of Uosikkinen´s American aunt’s life. Other motifs feature garden scenes, market scenes, and other depictions of daily life. Read more