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Gunnebo, Sweden - 19th August 2009

By: MintTe

Hi Everyone!

Today I have learn about some about Finnish china and glass. My host, Ingrid, collect Moomin china and Iittala glass.


Moomins and Arabia
Rörstrand got a permission to establish a daughter company in Finland on 25.11.1873 and  Arabia’s first factory buildings were erected in 1874. In 1885 the Arabia factory became a limited company, Arabia Aktiefabrik. In 1881, Gustav Herlitz was appointed technical director of the factory. In the 1890s Arabia’s production capacity expanded quite considerably. The Swedish artist Thure Öberg and the Finnish architect Jac Ahrenberg were employed to improve the range of models produced at Arabia.  A product range exclusive to Arabia was slowly taking shape and Arabia started the production of its own models of tiled stoves, vases and sets of tableware. Arabia’s collection was awarded a gold medal at the Paris World Fair in 1900.

The first products with Moomin figures at Arabia, a set of children's dishes and a serie of miniature figures, came out at the end of 1950's. Still, the "Moomin boom" strated by the second launch of the moomin products in 1990.


Iittala is a Finnish design company specialising in houseware objects made on the principle of "modern Scandinavian design". The Iittala Group consists of a number of businesses within its portfolio of operations: Arabia, Hackman, Iittala, BodaNova, Höganäs Keramik, Rörstrand and Høyang-Polaris.

The most famous products to be fabricated by the Iittala company are the glassware designs of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, such as the so-called Aalto Vase (or Savoy vase) (picture, right) from 1936, and the glassware designs of Timo Sarpaneva, who started designing glassware for the company in 1950. In 1956 Sarpaneva designed the Iittala i-logo. The founding of the Iittala company is said to date to 1881, when a glass factory was founded by Swede Petrus Magnus Abrahamsson. The first workforce had to be brought from Sweden due to the lack of skilled glassblowers in Finland.
In 1917, the company was bought up by timber refinery company A. Ahlström, who also owned the Karhula glass factory. These combined to become the Karhula-Iittala glass factory up until the 1950s. At first the factory specialised mostly in bottles for chemists and for holding lamp oil, though there was also some production of domestic items.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the company expanded into more experimental and artistic ventures, as well as producing more domestic products. One of the first major successes was the glassware designed by Aino Aalto, followed later by the glassware of Alvar Aalto.

The bowl are designed by Marimekko.


* Posted Aug 19, 2009, 10:25 am [Quote] Go to the top of the page


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