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.