This design from Arabia Finland has the most amazingly intense, almost warm, deep shade of blue. This very bold design is often mistaken for other bold and blue Arabia designs such as Valencia.
The pattern name is Köökki and it was a design by Gunvor Olin Gronqvist, produced between 1960-1976. It was produced in the studio at the Arabia Factory, and consisted of a range of hand painted kitchen objects such as salt boxes, butter boxes, boards, salt and peppers etc – but not of dinnerware.
Gunvor had a long association with Arabia Finland, working there from 1951 to 1993.
It’s fascinating how different the design works on different pieces.
Like many of the designs during this era at the Arabia factory, the pattern was also released in a brown version.
Arabia Finland Kookki Salt Box
Arabia Finland Kookki Bowl
Arabia Finland Kookki Platter
Arabia Finland Kookki
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.
Olga Osol, Arabia Finland
Olga Osol (1905-1994) is not a name that most people are familiar with, but she had an important place in the story of Arabia Finland.
She started with Arabia Finland as an assistant to artist Greta-Lisa Jäderholm-Snellman in 1926. She worked for Arabia until 1971, and for much of this time was head of the Applied Arts Department.
Her most popular design was Myrna – named after Myrna Loy, American movie star of the 1930s. This traditional floral style design with its heavily gilded rims was produced from 1937 up until 2005.
The only design from Olga I have had in hand is the lovely Botnia from 1968 pictured below. My favourite designs by Olga are those from the 1960s and 1970s like Bellis and Tunturi.
- Arabia Finland “Botnia” Trio
Some (not a complete list) of Olga Osol’s other designs are: