We’ve mentioned ceramic designer, Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) before on our blog – we have a cup & saucer that he designed for Arabia. A place where he claims he was, “able to grow like a weed”.
Whilst researching this post, I’ve discovered a plethora of brilliant works by him. He produced an impressive mural – 9 x 5 metres – for the 1967 World Exhibition in Montreal entitled, Orvokkimeri (Sea of Violets). Most of his other works are on a much smaller scale; vases, platters, chargers and table and serveware.
Vintage examples of his work can occasionally be found on 1st Dibs, Bukowskis, Etsy and eBay. The Finnish Design Shop sells a few of his designs that are still in production.
There was a book written by Harri Kalha to accompany a 2013 exhibition of Kaipiainen’s work that’s found its way on to my wish list!
There’s such a goldmine of vintage Scandinavian designers from which to choose, we’ve decided upon yet another this week – Raija Uosikkinen (1923-2004).
She is probably most well-known for her fruity Pomona and folk art Emilia patterns for Arabia, where she worked from 1947 to 1986. She also designed annual Christmas commemorative collectors’ plates for the company between 1978 and 1983.
The Finnish designer’s work is most easy to find on Tradera (the Scandi version of eBay), Etsy and to a lesser extent on eBay.
Bukowskis | Dishware Heaven | Flickr | Retronomi
The most well-known designs by Wolf Karnagel (b. 1940) are ones he produced for German companies, Lufthansa and Rosenthal.
In the 1980s, he designed around 120 food service items for the airline. From cutlery, cups & saucers, tea & coffee services, drinking glasses, condiment sachets and napkins to the trays it was all served upon.
Latterly, he has produced award-winning designs for KPM Berlin and Kahla. Functional and tactile, his designs are influenced by Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus movement.
His work is regularly available on Etsy and eBay.
Born in St Petersburg, Mari Simmulson (1911-2000) was an Estonian-Swedish ceramic designer. After art school in Tallinn and Munich, she first went to work for Arabia in Finland. From there, she emigrated to Sweden producing designs for Gustavsberg between 1945 & 49 before moving on to Upsala Ekeby until 1972.
She primarily produced plates, plaques, vases and small sculptures. Like Laila Zink, who we featured in this series a couple of weeks ago, a recurring motif in Simmulson’s work was beautiful, almond-eyed women and animals such as birds, cats and fish.
Her work is surprisingly affordable and is often available on Etsy and eBay.
Additional image credits:
I can’t believe it’s taken us so many months to feature Stig Lindberg in our Designer Desire series. He’s one of our favourite mid century modern designers… and he would have turned 100 this year! We’ve had a mere sprinkling of his work in our possession over the years.
He worked at Gustavsberg from 1937 – being made Art Director in 1949 – until 1957 when he left for 13 years to become a university lecturer. He rejoined the company for a decade until 1980, two years before his death in Italy of a heart attack.
Although he is most well known for being a ceramic designer, he has successfully tried his hand at lots of other media and artforms including enamelware, plastics, glass, children’s book illustration, textile design and product design. He designed items as wide-ranging as an enamel barbecue to a plastic citrus press, a money box in the shape of a Scottie dog to a large sculptural copper fountain.
There have been a few books written about Stig Lindberg but they a fairly rare and therefore quite pricey. I dream of finding one languishing idly on a charity shop bookshelf… or even better, one of the ones he himself illustrated!
eBay | Etsy | 1st Dibs | Kirk Modern