Designer Desire: Raija Uosikkinen

Mosaic of Raija Uosikkinen designs | H is for Home

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.

Portrait of Raija Uosikkinen

Image credits:

Bukowskis | Dishware Heaven | Flickr | Retronomi

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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!

Forthcoming Attractions: May 2011

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new items at H is for Home, May 2011 including vintage Arabia plate, 1950s aluminium flour, sugar and cereal storage tins, T G Green pottery storage jars and green pottery fish plate

Here are some of our favourite recent purchases – picked up at auction & flea markets over the past couple of weeks.

new items at H is for Home, May 2011 including vintage child's sewing machine in original box, Hornsea pottery owl mug and aluminium measuring cup

Items range from a 19th century country Windsor chair to 1970s alarm clock. There’s some lovely pottery including a large Arabia plate and 1950s handpainted pieces by Glyn Colledge. Also a nice selection of vintage kitchenalia and the best child’s sewing machine we’ve ever come across! For a full listing see below.

selection of new vintage items 1n the H is for Home shop

  1. antique stickback Windsor chair
  2. Campden Pottery dish decorated with an incised cockerel figure
  3. child’s 1950s Vulcan sewing machine
  4. trio of 1970s T G Green tea, coffee & sugar containers
  5. aluminium measuring cup
  6. wooden perpetual desk calendar
  7. Hornsea Pottery owl mug
  8. large Arabia plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen
  9. hand painted Glyn Colledge/Langley Pottery vase
  10. lemon yellow alarm clock
  11. vintage 1950s Tala aluminium flour, sugar and cereal canisters
  12. striped pottery oil/vinegar pot
  13. handmade Eldfast Hoganas Keramik fish plate
  14. hand painted Glyn Colledge/Denby Pottery atomic pin dish
  15. atomic, wall mountable wire plant pot holder

We’re hoping to make this a regular post. It will enable us preview items about to hit the shop – and also share with you photos of goodies that might just take that bit longer to be prised away.

It’s a date!

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detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Any of you vintage fans born in 1979?  This could be the perfect thing for you.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

It’s one of a series of ceramic date plates produced annually by Arabia of Finland.

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Designed by Raija Uosikkinen, they take their inspiration from the Kalevala – the epic national saga of Finland.

Here’s an extract from the English translation of Rune 33 from which this plate draws its reference:

From a tree the raven answered:
“O thou little silver buckle,
Only son of old Kalervo,
Why art thou in evil humor,
Wherefore sad in thy demeanor?
Take a young shoot from the thicket,
Take a birch-rod from the valley,
Drive thy herd across the lowlands,
Through the quicksands of the marshes;
To the wolves let one half wander,
To the bear-dens, lead the other;
Sing the forest wolves together,
Sing the bears down from the mountains,
Call the wolves thy little children,
And the bears thy standard-bearers;
Drive them like a cow-herd homeward,
Drive them home like spotted cattle,
Drive them to thy master’s milk-yards;
Thus thou wilt repay the hostess
For her malice and derision.”

detail from a 1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

You don’t have to be born in 1979… they were made from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s. That gives a good span of potentially significant years – birthdays, anniversaries etc.

And don’t mind if there isn’t a special date to be marked… the artwork is so fabulous, they’re covetable for the patterns alone.

1979 Arabia Kalevala date plate designed by Raija Uosikkinen

Having said that, there’s sure to be a few completists out there who are just going to have to have the full set – and we wouldn’t blame you!!