Arne Jacobsen was one of the designers that featured in our 100 Chairs book review this week. He’s best known for his iconic chairs – the Swan, the Egg, the Ant, the Giraffe, the Tongue – but during his 40-year career, he also designed lighting, stainless steel tableware, cutlery, textiles and buildings.
Probably his most famous building is the SAS Royal Hotel (now known as the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel) which opened in 1960 in his home city of Copenhagen. He designed the building and almost all its fixtures & fittings, from the furniture down to the ashtrays.
Many of his works are still in production; you can purchase genuine vintage or brand new pieces from eBay, Heal’s, Trouva and the Conran Shop.
1st Dibs | Etsy
We’ve not really featured any artists who specialise in glass so far in Designer Desire but that is about to change with this mosaic of work by Erik Höglund.
Best known for his people decanters for Kosta Boda (where he worked for 20 years), Höglund had a long and industrious career designing all manner of art glass. From the smallest coin-sized sun catchers to large-scale candelabra.
His decorative pieces are colourful and playful with organic, flowing forms. Many of them are designed to interact beautifully with light in some way – be it electric, fire, candle or the sun.
We have a few favourite pieces amongst this selection – perhaps the fabulous mid century modern fire-screen just edges it – or maybe that gorgeous ceiling candelabra. Tough choice!
There are always quite a lot of his works available for sale online – from just a few pounds to thousands & thousands. As a starting point, check out Etsy and eBay.
1st Dibs | Artnet | Bukowskis | Invaluable
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
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.
Aram | Arch Daily | Finnish Design Shop
We bought this yellow Cathrineholm kettle with a view to it going into our webshop, but as soon as Adelle saw it emerge from its brown paper packaging, she went all Gollum from Lord of the Rings on us. “Come to me, my precious!”, she exclaimed. The chances of it ever being re-sold slid away rapidly as the golden enamel glow filled her eyes!
It was added to our shelves of vintage Scandinavian loveliness – high up so it couldn’t easily be removed!
Another design we’ve been waiting to get hold of for a while is this Op Art crockery by Seltmann Weiden. We had it in stock previously and sold it all. This time we’ll sell some, but keep a piece or two. By coincidence, they appeared in the same week. They work very well together don’t they? The perfect combination for a bright and cheery afternoon tea we think.
Born in 1931, Anita Nylund is the daughter of the late Gunnar Nylund, Artistic Director of Rörstrand. Her grandfather Felix was a Finnish painter and sculptor, so she’s from a great artistic pedigree.
She studied at Otte Skölds Målarskola in Stockholm and then on to Paris and Florence. On her return to Sweden, she began working as a ceramic designer at Jie Gantofta where she produced a plethora of often folk-inspired designs.
The patterns included ‘Vår lilla stad’ (Our small town), ‘Familjen Pepparsson’ (Pepper family), ‘Prisma’ (Prism), ‘Cookie’ and ‘Janssons frestelse’ (Jansson’s temptation). They decorate plates, platters and serving dishes, salt & pepper shakers, salt pigs, butter dishes and all manner and size of storage jars.
Examples can be found readily on eBay and are still fairly affordable for the time being. Definitely one to watch!
Auctionet | Etsy | Tradera