Heikki Orvola (b.1943) is at the vanguard of Finnish design. He works primarily in glass and ceramics and has produced designs for Notsjö Nuutajärvi, Arabia, Marimekko and Iittala. In 1998, he was awarded the prestigious Kaj Franck prize.
His designs are readily available on Etsy, eBay and the Scandinavian Design Center.
Additional image credits:
1stDibs | Bukowskis | Invaluable
What? We’ve never featured Kaj Franck on Designer Desire before? How did that happen?!
We have some of his designs in our home and in our shop. So far, we own a ‘Muki’ mug decorated with Raija Uosikkinen’s ‘Lintu’ pattern and a large ‘Kulho’ bowl with Esteri Tomula’s ‘Tatti’ mushrooms pattern (6th from top, on the left).
The one design on his wares that I really, really desire is ‘Sydän’, the red hearts on white enamelware range (3rd from top, on the right). This pattern was designed by Gunvor Olin-Grönqvist. I’ve seen it on bowls, plates, kettles, jugs and mugs – but the condition and price has never been right.
Kaj Franck (1911-1989) was one of the leading modernist Finnish designers working in glass, ceramics, enamel and metalware. He was artistic director at Arabia (now Iittala) and produced many of their designs as well as ones for their subsidiary company, Finel. He also designed many pieces for glassware company, Notsjö Nuutajärvi.
After researching Franck’s back catalogue, we realised that there’s a similar scenario to the design collaboration between Cathrineholm designers Grete Prytz Kittelsen and Arne Clausen. One person designed the vessel (which was Franck’s domain) and others, such as Esteri Tomula and Raija Uosikkinen, produced the applied pattern.
Some of his popular ranges – such as Teema crockery, Scandia Cutlery and Kartio glassware – are still being manufactured and are available from the Scandinavian Design Center and Finnish Design Shop. I prefer his more colourful, more interesting vintage designs which are always available on eBay, Etsy, Pamono and Bukowskis.
There’s a book on Franck that I’d love to buy, or failing that, have a flick through entitled Kaj Franck – Muotoilija / Formgivare / Designer, currently on sale at around the £100 mark.
Additional image credits:
1st Dibs | Bukowskis
In our last blog we were musing over the influence of nature on artists & designers. Also how nature has been interpreted in book illustrations etc. We randomly began with ‘fish’ as a sub-theme, we’re going to continue, equally randomly, with ‘birds’.
1960s Irish linen tea towel
kitchen storage jar
The items featured are again predominantly vintage finds from the 1950s, 60s & 70s. They include artworks, books and domestic wares.
1960s Wedgewood glass birds
Check out the fantastic bird series produced for Iittala by the Finnish glass designer, Oiva Toikka started in 1973. They’re still being made today having amassed a range of over 300 designs.
John Clappison designs for Hornsea Pottery – mugs & hen ashtray
Mexican pin dish
1950s cocktail tray
We’re really pleased with this recent biscuit tin acquisition, picked up in a mixed box at a nearby auction.
fantastic 1950s graphics
Mid century books can be a rich source of high quality, period illustrations.
We dipped into our vintage cookery book collection again and came out with some little gems.
collection of 1950s Stork margarine recipe booklets
Bill Charmatz illustrations
Esquire Cook Book front cover. First published in 1956
Charley Harper illustrations
We hope you’ve enjoyed looking at our avian delights. Stay tuned for flowers, foliage, landscapes and much more!