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
Last week, we blogged about a couple of vintage Palaset storage boxes we put into our shop. Today, we’re featuring their designer, Ristomatti Ratia.
By all accounts, he has so far led a very colourful life. He’s been married numerous times, had a challenging relationship with his mother and had even appeared on the Finnish version of Dancing with the Stars.
He has, however, found the time to design all manner of products in his 50-year career. From clothing, spectacles, jewellery, glassware, cutlery and bedding to a free-standing fire and even a boat-shaped coffin and urn for ashes!
He’s best known for a couple of his early designs; firstly, his 301 shoulder bag (shown above in green) for his parents’ company, Marimekko. The other is the aforementioned, award-winning Palaset modular storage system – the LP units are especially sought after by vintage vinyl junkies. I discovered today that the ever forward-thinking Sir Terence Conran stocked Palaset in his Habitat shops in the 1970s. The image of the beanbag-seated lady is taken from a vintage Habitat catalogue.
His contemporary designs are readily available from the Finnish Design Shop and the Ratia Shop. His vintage designs pop up from time to time on 1st Dibs, eBay and Etsy.
Ristomatti Ratia has, as one might expect, a beautifully furnished home. You can take a house tour here.
Additional image credits:
70 Luvulta | Flickr | Mundadaa | Why not 2nd Cycle
This feminine Scandi dining room is the domain of Pernille and her family. She’s a blogger, Instagrammer and homeware shop owner based over in Denmark.
The repetition of deep purple, soft pink and grey is very pleasing on the eye. The deep, wine colour on the right-hand wall is Sadolin‘s ‘Shady Red’. The light pink colour on the far wall is ‘Soft Blush’ from the same company. ‘Creme de la Rose’ by Crown is very similar to the latter, and is available here in the UK. The glossy, white-painted floorboards bounce sunlight up & around the room.
Soft textiles, potted cacti, hanging kokedama and framed artwork give a homely feel.
- Galaxy Globe mobile, large, dark green
- Nordic Tales Bright Spot pendant
- Hanging succulent kokedama
- Livink Braid pillows
- by Lassen – Kubus 4 candle holder, brass
- We Design magazine holder
- Hans Wegner Y chair (CH24)
- Crown matt emulsion paint Creme de la Rose
- Hay Loop stand table
- Large sheepskin rugs
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.
Additional image credits:
1st Dibs | Artnet
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:
Just a quick little update to say that we’ve added a few new items to our web shop today. These are just three of half a dozen things.
First up, is the Homemaker tea trio designed by Enid Seeney for Ridgway Potteries in the 1950s. Next, is a Figgjo Flint Saga vase designed by Turid Gramstad Oliver. Finally, is a two-tone green ‘Palm’ design acrylic water or juice jug produced by Immanuel.
Click on each item image to go straight to it on our shop site.