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« Vintage Ceramics Part 3 | Main | Vintage Ceramics Part 1 »

Vintage Ceramics Part 2

Tuesday, 12 October 2010 by Irene Hoofs

Stig Lindberg


{images from Modernity}

Unfortunately, Stig Lindberg is no longer among us, but I am sure his work will be for ages to come. He was one of the most famous and influential designers in Scandinavia and the world. Stig Lindbergis especially representative for Swedish design of the 1950’s. There is probably no home in Sweden that does not have a Stig object displayed in a special place. Colorful tableware, textiles and children’s books, as well as ceramic art which you can find in museum collections worldwide.



It is incredible what Stig Lindberg achieved during his lifetime and I could spend one or more  weekend reads on his work, but for now I just wanted to show you what I think are his most beautiful ceramic designs: Bersa and Aster which he designed for Gustavsberg. Stig had a long relationship with Gustavsberg where he started as a painter after graduating from  the Swedish State School of arts, crafts and design in Stockholm, assuming the position of the company’s art director in 1949. Lindberg kept working with Gustavsberg’s studio until 1980, he then moved to Italy to establish his own studio.


Should you be in the neighborhood, there is a special Stig Lindberg exhibition in the National museum of Sweden until the end of next week. There are a number of great books about Stig Lindberg’s life and work but they are not that easy to come by I find. I believe you can email the National museum to order books, but the site was not entirely clear on this. One address that I found that sells books about Stig Lindberg is retro home in Sweden. Please let me know if you know any other shops that carry these books, I would love to hear from you!


Esteri Tomula


Esteri Tomula was a decoration designer and worked with Arabia for almost 40 years. Much of her work was inspired by Finish flora. She was especially famous for Fennica and Krokus series, and several coffee cup and dinner service decorations as well as Botanica wall plates. Esteri’s used a technique of both print and painting: black outline drawings were printed and then completed by hand painted details in different colors. It is incredible how much time and devotion was put in one single item to get a perfect result. Esteri collaborated often with Kaj Franck who did the ceramic designs.


There is a great book on Esteri Tomula’s work called “Esteri Tomula Arabia 1947-1984”; it describes her life and friends and includes pictures of most of her work and some prototypes as well. If anyone knows where I can buy this book please let me know!!

Ulla Procopé



I mentioned Ulla Procopé in the first edition of this read, but now wanted to show you the Ruska collection she did for Arabia and some of her other designs such as the Kosmos series. Simply beautiful!

Tapio Wirkkala


{Rosenthal Jahresteller, tableware for Rosenthal, 'Pollo' vase}
Another symbolic figure for Finnish design was Tapio Wirkkala. He was an artist of exceptional diversity and left no area of design unexplored. Although his artwork and unique objects are to be found in the world’s leading museums, people have used his more anonymous objects for decades. His work ranges from plastic ketchup bottles and metal ware to advanced unique pieces of glass, ceramics and plywood. In 1946 Wirkkala won his first design award in a competition organized by Iittala. He was made artistic director of the firm and begun a lifelong relationship with the company. He also designed for other international companies, for example glass for Venini and ceramics forRosenthal.

Posted by Bloesem on March 03, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (10)



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