I have been very much enjoying these hefty stainless steel vases from Norway, c. 1960 designed by Olaf Joff. Their quirky brutalist style really reminds me of the jewellery of Guy Vidal. They’re great as sculpture on their own, but I think the pop of colour that the flowers contributes lightens everything up nicely. These lovely carnations came from my local supermarket!
Northern Lighting is a company which produces amazing lighting pendants and fixtures which are inspired by Nordic nature. The unique shapes and organic forms remind me of some of my favourite Scandinavian designs. Their “Acorn” pendant seen here is just lovely. The smooth charcoal or eggshell colours are perfect and I love the wood detail. Beautifully styling as well – I’m a sucker for succulents.
The fall has descended rather rapidly this year on Vancouver Island. The cold rains are washing away my memories of the once uncomfortable heat of my attic room. A move away from salads and towards ratatouille. Settling into wool jackets and long sleeps. I’m into it!
Lots of new arrivals being added over at Hopea just in time for the holiday season to start. Be sure to check in!
1 / Rare “Kyoto” ring in 14k gold designed by Björn Weckström.
2 / Owe Johannson bracelet. Finland, c. 1970. (Available here.)
2 / Hans Hansen bracelet in 14k gold. Denmark, c. 1960.
When thinking of the image I want for Hopea going forward, I like to think on Elis Kauppi’s collection for Finland’s Artek exhibition of 1958. In a groundbreaking move, pieces were displayed on simple linen and wood blocks instead of the traditional black velvet. The understated; the aesthetic assertion that natural equals refined is, to me, quintessentially Scandinavian.
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.
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)
I recently stumbled across the fantastic work of London-based printmaker Tessa Horrocks. The prints are a somewhat dark interpretation of otherwise mundane subjects, such as pebbles or flowers. I love the contrast between the sense of volume and detail with the overall pressing flatness of the pieces. Wonderful! I would love to hang one of her “Pebbles are Great” or “Ice Flowers” in my new apartment.
Lots of new pieces by Finnish designer Liisa Vitali have arrived in the shop. They are all from her iconic “Leppäkertu” series of 1966, this design was known as “ladybird”. The pieces are so playful and inspired – I just love them!
As a little bonus, below are a few images from the original promotional catalog for Vitali’s Ladybird series.