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.
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.
Bukowskis | Pinterest
This lovely large pottery charger was one of our more interesting finds last week.
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.
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!
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.
We mentioned in yesterday’s post that, due to unforeseen circumstances, we’d not listed as many items as usual on our H is for Home website recently. It takes much more time to put things online than straight into our bricks & mortar shop space – and time has been in short supply of late.
However, the fightback has started! Here’s a selection of vintage goodies that we’ve photographed and listed today.
We really do like to spread pieces between physical and internet worlds – and with a bit more time available now hopefully, there should be much more to follow in the coming days and weeks!