Designer Desire: Björn Weckström

Mosaic of Björn Weckström designs | H is for Home

I just love chunky, modernist, almost brutalist Scandinavian jewellery and when I discovered the work of Björn Weckström it went straight into top spot on my wish list.

Weckström (born 1935) is a fine artist and sculptor but it is for his jewellery that he’s probably best known. His work is often inspired by ancient Greek mythology, nature and the landscapes of Lapland.

He’s a prolific maker – primarily for Finnish company, Lapponia – so examples of his work are readily available from outlets such as Bukowskis, eBay, Etsy. His pieces are mainly crafted from 18 carat gold, sterling silver, precious stones and pearls so they’re not going to be cheap. They’re individual, heirloom pieces – in my opinion, very much worth the investment.

A necklace entitled, ‘Planetoid Valleys’ and the ‘Darina’s Bracelet’, both designed by Weckström for Lapponia was worn by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in the closing scene in 1977’s Star Wars film.

Weckström has said of his work and the wearer’s relationship to it:

A piece of jewelry is a miniature sculpture with the human body in the background. When I first began in the early 1960s, I wanted to turn jewelry design into small-scale form of art and raise its profile on a par with that of modern sculpting. Naturally matt gold soon became my trademark. Wearers of my jewelry relate personally to it. Some think jewelry is art, others think it is an intriguing complement to their personality or a fascinating conversation piece. Some think that it is quite simply beautiful.

Björn Weckströmcredit

Additional image credits:

1st Dibs | Artnet

Designer Desire: Laila Zink

Mosaic of Laila Zink designs | H is for Home

Earlier this week, we discovered the designs of Laila Zink (1915-1999) whilst researching the identity of the designer who created a large pottery charger that we’d bought at the flea market. She worked for pottery manufacturers Kupittaan Savi based in Finland. Her work is very distinctive – stylised folk art figures, flowers and landscapes. The elongated facial features and almond shaped eyes of the ladies (and it does usually seem to be ladies) are instantly recognisable. Her pieces are all hand painted and very individual.

We couldn’t find out much information about either her or Kupittaan Savi. A book has been written about the company… however it’s in Finnish. Her work isn’t very commonplace however, there are currently a few examples available on Etsy and eBay.

Portrait of Laila Zinkcredit

Image credits:

Bukowskis | Pinterest

A mysterious gentlewoman

Vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration by Laila Zink for Finnish manufacturer Kupittaan Savi | H is for Home

This lovely large pottery charger was one of our more interesting finds last week.

Vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration | H is for Home

We were wondering how to describe the subject matter. An elegantly dressed gentlewoman we figured – contemplating the day at the tea table with her cut flower and songbird.

Detail of a vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration | H is for Home

It’s beautifully hand-painted and despite the piece being signed front and back, the artist was initially a mystery. But after some research, we’ve solved it! It’s the work of Laila Zink (1915-1999) for Finnish manufacturer Kupittaan Savi and dates from the 1950s/60s. It’s always good to keep learning!

Signature on a vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration | H is for Home

It measures 36cm x 30cm and has holes to the reverse for hanging. It certainly makes for a very striking piece of midcentury modern wall art. She’ll be coming to our web shop very soon, but first dibs to our blog readers – priced at £175.

Designer Desire: Alvar Aalto

Mosaic of Alvar Aalto designs | H is for Home

We think this might be the first time we’ve featured a designer who is also an accomplished architect. Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) was a Finnish product designer who worked in furniture, textiles, glass and lighting.

He designed many buildings that are located all over the world  and include churches, museums, hospitals, private homes, a sanatorium, a library and an event venue.

Many of his products are still in production today. We’ve linked to a couple of the places you can find them below.

Alvar Aaltocredit

Image credits:

Aram | Arch Daily | Finnish Design Shop

Raija Uosikkinen lidded pot

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Vintage Arabia lidded pot designed by Raija Uosikkinen | H is for Home

We’ve selected this gorgeous little item for this week’s favourite buy.

Vintage Arabia lidded pot designed by Raija Uosikkinen | H is for Home

It’s from the Emilia range designed by Raija Uosikkinen for Arabia Pottery of Finland. She worked for the company from the 1960s onwards and produced some wonderful designs. The colourful preserve pots with stylised fruit decoration and the plates depicting the Kalevala legend also spring to mind.

Vintage Arabia lidded pot showing base stamp | H is for Home

This particular piece is a lidded sugar bowl… also perfect for jewellery, keys, loose change – or any small precious thing!

Detail from a  Vintage Arabia lidded pot designed by Raija Uosikkinen | H is for Home

We really don’t come across pieces from this range too often, so it’s lovely to handle them. They’re incredibly detailed, but also have a charming simplicity. Coming to the shop soon!

Charity Vintage: Kaj Franck for Finel mushroom design bowl

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vintage Finel mushroom design bowl by Kaj Frank for sale on eBay for Chrity by & in support of CLIC Sargent(ends 1 May, 2014 15:38:37 BST)

This vintage Finel mushroom design bowl, by Kaj Franck, is up for sale on eBay by & in support of CLIC Sargent*. It’s on at a very reasonable price – buy it now for £44.99 plus there’s free P&P.

We regularly sell Finel enamel items in our web shop. We actually have this very bowl in our own personal collection. We love the black & white mushroom illustration. We’ve only ever seen the enamel bowl (in different sizes), but the design is available on a lidded saucepan, chopping board and even pottery cups, plates and bowls (for Arabia).

*CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement.