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This week, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Kaija Aarikka, one of Finland’s most celebrated jewelry designers. Her forward-thinking designs are some of my very favourite of all Nordic jewelry. I’ve been lucky to have several pieces pass through Hopea’s collection and I always wonder at the imagination and skill they display. Her work is joyful and exuberant; I can only imagine the person behind it was much the same.

Kaija studied textile design at the Institute of Industrial Art and first began to design jewelry in the late 1950s. Her work during this early period consisted of necklaces of silver tubes and small wooden cubes. In the early 1960s, she moved onto her iconic pieces constructed with birch balls and wire. In the mid-60s, she developed her silver design jewelry.

Her pieces are of pure imagination and abstraction with no room for naturalism. Inspired by the jingling rings of traditional Lapland, she created her jewelry to include moving parts which would sound to enhance the vividness of the pieces. To her, jewelry was meant to be worn and the pieces were executed accordingly in a dramatically large scale. She was also quite inspired by space travel in the late 1960s. These were pieces that helped define her long standing approach which employed reduced and even austere forms with large, smooth surfaces of silver. All pieces were handmade until the 1970s, when she began casting small pieces. Her achievements were remarkable and in her lifetime Kaija turned her one-woman shop into an considerable enterprise that is now carried on by her daughter Pauliina Aarikka.

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1 / Necklace and bracelet from 1963. via Jewelry in Finland, Designmuseo, 2013

2 / Bracelets from the early 1970s via Jewelry in Finland, Designmuseo, 2013

3 / Bracelet from the early 1970s. (Hopea)

4 / Necklace from 1974. (Hopea)

5 / Modelled rings from the late 1960s.

6 / Necklace designed by Alpo Jääskeläinen for Aarikka’s studio in 1969. (Hopea)

alton sweden bracelet nanna ditzel for georg jensen bracelet Tapio Wirkkala Hopeakuu necklace unn tangerud uni david-andersen ring

 

1 / Bracelet designed by Per Davik for Alton Sweden. 1974.

2/ Bracelet by Nanna Ditzel for Georg Jensen, Denmark c. 1970.

3/ Tapio Wirkkala “Hopeakuu” (Silver Moon) necklace. Finland, 1972.

4/ Unn Tangerud for Uni David Andersen. Norway, c. 1965.

Lots of exciting new pieces to be added on the site this week!

bjorn weckstrom lapponia gold bracelet liisa vitali silver earrings theresia hvorslev mema ring

1 / Stunning 18K gold bracelet titled “Cascade” designed by Björn Weckström for Finnish firm Lapponia. c. 1970.

2 / Rare silver Liisa Vitali earrings inspired by cats claws. Finland, 1972.

3 / A sculptural ring by renowned Swedish silversmith Theresia Hvorslev. Sweden, 1971.

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The Danish jewelry firm Hans Hansen made some of my favourite pieces of Scandinavian design. During the early years of its jewelry production, the lead designer was Karl Gustav Hansen, grandson of founder Hans Hansen who established the workshop in 1906. The company truly started to produce original jewelry when Hans Hansen asked his son, who had already won several awards at this point, to design a collection. It was 1932 and the collection was titled “Future”.

Up until this point, the company had primarily focussed on flatware, and with “Future” the workshop garnered a reputation of forward-thinking, modern jewelry. The collection consisted of approximately 50 pieces including rings, brooches and earrings. Remarkably, K.G Hansen was just 18 at the time. His aesthetic is often described as “Functionalist”; marrying form and function to create pieces of jewelry which are sculptural, thoughtfully crafted, and somewhat gender neutral.

In 1953, Hansen hired a fresh out of school designer named Bent Gabrielsen. As K.G Hansen turned his attention towards running the business and focussing on holloware, Gabrielsen took the reigns as lead designer of jewelry for the firm until 1969. By the time he left, he was responsible for the firms entire production of jewelry. Gabrielsen opened his own workshop and also went on to design pieces for Georg Jensen. His beautifully constructed designs perfectly balance striking maxim and with elegant restraint. Gabrielsen worn the prestigious Lunning Prize in 1964.

The fantastic designs above are from the period when Bent Gabrielsen was lead designer and you can certainly see his hand in them. I especially love the very 1960s flower in the sculptural silver ring.


Sources: JensenSilver.com

vintage Torun Bulow Hube necklace vintage Torun Bulow Hube necklace vintage Torun Bulow Hube necklace vintage Torun Bulow Hube necklace vintage Torun Bulow Hube jewelry vintage Torun Bulow Hube jewelry Torun Bulow Hube and Picasso

I am so pleased to have located one of Torun Bülow-Hübe’s fantastic pieces of jewelry to add to Hopea’s collection. Her ingenious designs are simple but expertly crafted. Though not overtly feminine, her pieces are of a style that women want to wear, even half a century later. When you try on a piece, you can feel how it perfectly accounts for the curves of the human body. Information about her remarkable life and career is available in many places online but you have to feel her work in person to fully appreciate the level of her accomplishment. The piece that is currently available on Hopea is a neck ring that is accompanied by two interchangeable pendants. The modular style of the piece gives it great versatility.

View more details here.

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vintage scandinavian gold ring

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New additions to Hopea’s collection, how I love these elegantly minimal 14K gold rings from Finland. All from about 1960 – 1970, they really capture the modernist movement towards simple forms and an emphasis on honesty of materials. Local stones were also preferred by designers who elevated them, incorporating them into modern work with gold.

1 / Gold “Valkea” ring from 1964, Finland.

2 / Gold and agate ring from 1957.

3 / Nils Westerback ring. Finland, 1967.

4 / Smokey quartz and gold “Kitku” ring. 

5 / Nils Westerback ring. Finland, 1964.

With 2013 done and gone, I am so looking forward to 2014! Lots of changes for me in the last few months. Myself, along with Hopea’s collection, have relocated to Vancouver Island. Calgary was such an unexpectedly great place to spend the last two years, but I’m also excited to be back where my roots are on the West coast.

The Christmas trunk shows at Kit Interior Objects in Calgary and Inform Interiors in Vancouver both went amazingly well. It was great to see returning faces of customers whom I’ve come to know through these shows as well as meeting other design-appreciating locals for the first time. There’s lots of advantages to having an online store, but I do miss that face-to-face element! I’m looking forward to next year already.

A few pictures from the shows:

Jewelry Trunk Show Calgary

A few Liisa Vitali and Georg Jensen pieces…

Jewelry Trunk Show Vancouver

Kit Interior Objects, Calgary

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My lovely little corner inside Inform Interiors in Vancouver.

Jewelry Trunk Show Vancouver Vintage Gold Scandinavian Ring

Dutifully manning the booth…

Last month, Hopea and one of my favourite design blogs, April+ May organized a giveaway for Jorma Laine’s “Kala” ring. The winner was drawn from the comments and I’m just so pleased it went to such a great customer and supporter like Pippa (ouchflower).

bronze jorma laine ring
I am still in the process of replenishing Hopea’s somewhat bare store (the trunk shows really were successful!), but I’m pleased to say that I have over 50 amazing new pieces of midcentury jewelry that are currently being documented and photographed. There was a great reception for elegant, minimal gold and stone rings over the holiday so I’ve done my best to track down some more of these designs.

Here’s a sneak peek of a few:

Vintage Gold Scandinavian Ring

Nils Westerback 14k gold ring. Finland, 1960.

hannu ikonen bronze necklace

Rare enamelled Hannu Ikonen reindeer moss design. Finland, c. 1975. Currently available.

MP Christoffersen

MP Christoffersen sterling silver ring. Denmark, c. 1960.

For new arrivals as they happen, follow Hopea20 on Instagram or join us on Facebook. 

- Cosima

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