Saturday, October 12, 2013

From Finland with love

I adore finnish design. Yesterday, my dream find arrived!! I've found what's been on the very top of my wishlist for a very long time on Finn (Norway's Craigslist)- the Ultima Thule caraffe. It's so incredibly gorgeous, I absolutely adore this series by the amazing Tapio Wirkkala, designed in 1968. It's so breathtakingly beautiful, looking like eternally melting ice. The design is both beautiful AND intriguing, I keep noticing more great details all the time. The work of that bearded, pipe- smoking, natureloving guy is unlike anything else. As mentioned in a recent post, collecting the tumblers takes a lot of patience, the few that find their way to a store over here, is snatched away before they even hit the shelves. But my goodness, finding them is so rewarding, they are simply the most gorgeous glasses on this planet.

My heart always beats a little bit faster whenever I find new pieces of Arabia Ruska. I adore finnish design, and to me, Ruska is Finland, the roughness, the dark woody brown, the simple shapes, I love it. Just like Ultima Thule, it has a very Nordic feel to it. This masterpiece by Ulla Procope was introduced in 1961-62, and was in production for more than three decades, I'm guessing much due to it's modern and rustic appeal. Lucky for us, this makes it fairly easy to collect, as I know many of you do. It never seizes to amaze me that it was designed as early as it was. If I didn't know, I would easily have guessed the 70s. Earlier I've found the lovely teapot, dinner plates for twelve, several serving dishes and a teaset. Below is what I found yesterday in the Salvation army store. At ridiculously low prices, I might add.

I love the shape of the creamer, simple, low and wide.

Six coffee cups. I have eight teacups already, and often prefer the shape of teacups. But these coffee cups are even more gorgeous, so straight and tall. The only problem with Ruska is that the cups don't stack well... I do forgive them, though, since they're so gorgeous.

I haven't seen this dish before. It's an oven dish, but I can find so many other uses for it too, I adore the shape. It has the first stamp I've seen with the name Ruska on it.

I have this large round serving plate already, and have always wanted one more. I use it for everything, cake, salad, pizza and traditional dishes like a roast. 

Autumn has been at it's very best here today. Gorgeous weather and breathtaking colors. I went for a walk and I'm leaving you with a couple of snaps of a house here in my neighbourhood that I'm really curious about. With it's dark brown facades surrounded by Nordic foilage it seemed so fitting to throw it in after the Ruska. Although it's close to the road, it's hard to photograph. Despite it's very geometric appearance, it blends in with the foilage. Much due to the coloring, of course. It's designed around the end of the 60s. it has a square plan and an atrium covered by the glass pyramide you can see on the roof.  I'm hoping one day I'll get the chance to see it inside. I'll be sure to share it with you if it ever happens! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Ps. I just linked up with Max over at Blackbird has spoken, do pay her lovely blog a visit, I highly recommend it!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Stavanger finds

I didn't plan to do any thrifting (and that's the truth!!) when I was in Stavanger a fortnight ago, the weekend was all about taking in the landscape (see images here) but somehow, mum and I stumbled across an open air flea market in one of the city squares, and who can resist those?

I immediately spotted this amazing set of 12  Holmegaard Ballon glasses, all in mint condition. They were designed by Per Lütken in 1973. I love the heavy, solid glass stem with the bubble and the very distinct 70s feel. This is the biggest size, they came in three different sizes, where each size was meant to serve several purposes. They  go really well with Ruska, and they're perfect for almost everything. Aren't they gorgeous?

When I got back, I found this single glass in a different size and shape, but from the same series. Perfect for a cocktail or dessert. I'm hoping more of them will turn up!

I have been collecting Ultima Thule for quite some time, but it's going really slowly. If we are not more than the four of us, however, I have enough tumblers. I prefer the Ultima Thule glasses without stems, so what do you experts out there say, can these two be combined (yesterday's dinner setting below) or are they too different? Please ignore that I couldn't be bothered to iron the placemats....

That first stall of the flea market had so many gems. I found two pieces by Nils Aa Sivertsen, one from his time with Graveren (from 1949), the other one from the time he was employed by Stavangerflint. This first one is the Graveren piece, a candle holder. There was a number of products that had this lovely "gingerbread icing". Although I've never found when this pattern was designed, I will be very surprised if it wasn't in the 50s.

This is a Stavangerflint wall plaque, the second piece by Nils Aa Sivertsen. The back says "Sweetheart" and that it's handmade. Isn't it cute? I must admit that if it wasn't brown, it would probably be too cute for my taste... Sivertsen was employed by Stavangerflint in 1968, when Stavangerflint had just merged with Figgjo. He designed several patterns, like Florry, Amber, Bardu, Beito and Karin. I'm not familiar with these. He also designed some purely decorative pieces, amongst them the wall plaques, or relieffs "Mother" and "Wedding". I'm guessing the one I found must be from this series.

Yay!! My Wiinblad monthly plaque number thirteen! That doesn't add up, right? Well, I have two Januarys and two Februarys, but this is my first December, and now I'm only missing August.

The Figgjo Hedda pattern was designed in 1977 by Rolf Frøyland. It was printed on pieces from the Omega line by Ragnar Grimsrud and was in production until 1980. I like how the lid has more solid color and givs the piece some definition. I found some egg cups in this pattern earlier, that you can see here.

And Daisy.... This is only my second piece, I found a skillet a little while ago. I don't have much blue in my home, these are amongst the very few pieces that make the cut. There's something about that almost naive, happy pattern. I had dinner on it every day when I grew up, mum and dad had this and Tor Viking. Later they got Lotte, which they still use. Daisy was designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver, and was in production from 1969 to 1975.

This is my first Elvira piece! Elvira is a handpainted pattern, also one of the wonderful designs of mrs Oliver. It was in production from 1970 to 80. I learnt in the Figgjo museum this summer that the black was printed on, while the purple and brown was painted by hand. You can easily identify the brush strokes that adds to the handpainted feel. I think the pattern reflects the time it was designed so wonderfully. I cannot make out the "June design" on the stamp as I know for sure it was designed by Oliver. Does anyone know what this means?

I've never seen these next two plates before. Designed 18 years apart, they both feature a scene with one of our most famous writers, Alexander L. Kielland (1849 – 1906) who was one of the so-called "Four Greats" in Norwegian Litterature. You might have heard of the more internationally acclaimed Henrik Ibsen, he's one of them. In my Stavangerflint souvenir plates, Kielland is the  sculpture on the market place, gazing towards the harbour in a cape and top hat.

Born in, you guessed it, Stavanger, he grew up in a rich merchant family. Kielland was the younger brother of our amazing female landscape painter Kitty Kielland. Despite being born into wealth, he had a sincere affection for the less fortunate, treating his workers well when he was a factory owner. He remained a spokesman for the weak and a critic of the hypocrisy of society throughout his time as a writer. I really enjoy reading his novels. They give such vivid images of the city at that time, with it's wharfs, fishery and canning industries that made the city before oil was discovered in the 1960s. Right now, I'm reading "Gift" (poison) which takes place in my old high school. The descriptions of the building and the cathedral next to it are so vivid, and it's so amazing to think that we attended that same school 100 years apart.

More familiar places, the first plate, decorated by Anders Jaarvik in 1968, shows him strolling in front of the medieval church at Orre, which you can see in a couple of my pictures here. He called Orre "heaven on earth", and was often seen walking the beach there, which is a place I often visit too, have a look here. His love of Orre was also said to have something to do with a woman... There's a stone next to the church, saying that this is the place he would have liked to be buried. However, when he died he was given a state funeral and a much more prominent burial site. To you Scandinavian readers there's a text on the back which is worth a read.

The second plate is much more recent, it was designed in 1986 and was one of the motifs in a series of ten designed by Henry Imsland for Lions Club. The style is more of a charicature and shows Kielland sitting in the garden of what could be the city house of the Kielland family. Unfortuneately, it was torn down many years ago and I'm not quite sure what it looked like. The family had another grand manor house which is still there and can be visited.

Kielland is said to have been quite a character, I can't resist showing you a couple of images. In the second one, he's posing with another of the "great four", Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Oh, the clothes of that time, aren't they magnificent? It seems like Kielland wore this kind of fez for informal occasions and at home, and wore a top hat when he strolled the streets.

My last Stavanger find is this piece of Sandnes pottery. I have mentioned them in several posts, and won't bore you with the details again:-) I was thrilled to find this particular one, you rarely find them in such good condition.

Finally (phew!!!), just a pic to show you some candles I recently found for my Festivos. I think it's really hard to find candles that fit them, but these aren't half bad! I dream of finding the original ball- shaped candles, does anyone know it they're still being produced? Wish you all a wonderful week!!!

Thursday, October 03, 2013

A beautiful gift

I'm short of exclamation marks when it comes to you, Pippa! Look what arrived in the mail today! She sent me this beautiful gift across the globe! Pippa has, as far as I'm concerned, revived and reinvented the wonderful art of macrame. In addition, she has added large luxurious tassels to her repertoire, as well as dreamcatchers, wall hangings and beads, all made from beautiful twine, handdyed by her. She dipdyes the twine, which creates this gorgeous gradient effect which is her signature, an effect that gives her work a very modern twist. I'm so thrilled to see her work being featured in magazines and her OuchFlower business taking off. The sky's the limit, Pippa!

Back to the beauties that arrived in the mail from down under! One black, one chartreuse, a color I didn't even know about before I was introduced to it by Pippa (my mother tongue is norwegian:-) I didn't realize how big they are before seeing them in "person". The black one has a very fancy copper headband:-) I arranged a small photoshoot against a teak cabinet door in my kitchen, I know we share a passion for teak! Aren't they gorgeous? Thank you so much, sweet, Pippa!

Pippa is not only a great maker of beautiful crafts, she also teaches and is the best matchmaker ever. You blogging friends out there know what I mean! She's a really sweet person whose words are so warming, both in her comments and in her "blog dedication" project.

I know most of my "regulars" already know Pippa, but if there's anyone out there who don't, be sure to check out her blog where she also has a shop, as well as her Etsy shop. You're in for a treat!

Speaking of beautiful gifts, be sure to sponsor Kylie and Frocktober over at Lucy Violet Vintage! It's for the best of causes- the fight against ovarian cancer! There's a great bonus too, 31 posts of her modelling gorgeous frocks:-)
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