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
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 Ruska – Ulla Procope
Ulla (Ulrika) Procope (1921-1968) worked in Arabia’s art department at the same time as Kaj Franc, Kaarine Aho, and Goran Back. Initially she trained with Olga Osol in the hand painting department at Arabia, after graduating as a ceramicist from the Central School of Arts & Crafts in Helsinki. She worked at Arabia from 1948-1967.
Ulla was a skilled wheel thrower who understood how clay worked, and her outstanding design skills along with the ability to create production models, contributed to the success of Arabia in the 1950s and 1960s.
The Ruska range which she designed for Arabia Finland in 1960 became one of the best selling lines in their history. Its production was continued into the 1990’s it was so popular. It has become a Scandinavian design classic.
It was the first time Arabia had used a matte glaze for mass produced utilitarian ware. Ruska had a handcrafted look and feel to it, with the glaze colour and mottled appearance turning out slightly differently on each piece.
Arabia Ruska Teapot
Arabia Ruska Milk Jug Creamer
Arabia Ruska – Large Coffee Cup