Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Women behind the wheel

Ulla Procopé (1921 - 1968), one of the unsung heroes that contributed to Arabia's golden age. Hired in 1948 to work in the factory's design department she proved herself in the development of ceramic forms. When in 1951, owing to ill health, she had to stop using the potter's wheel Kaj Franck included her in his product design team. Her interest in the design of utility objects now had to be focused on mass production. The GA teapots (1955–72) and the AL marmalade jar (1953 – 67) are among her best-known pieces.

GA teapot (1955 - 72)

Ruska (1960 – 1999), the extremely dense and solid stoneware service that had over thirty different pieces. Its toned glaze ensured that no two pieces of the service were exactly alike. This distinctively rustic, earthy and practical service came to be regarded as typical of Finnish ceramic design and became a huge export success.

Valencia (1960 – 2002), originally conceived as a fruit service consisting of a tray, plates and two candlesticks. Gradually the pattern was expanded into a complete dinner, coffee and tea service. Undoubtedly, the jewel in Procopé's crown.

Now playing: She Drives Me Crazy 12"mix - Fine Young Cannibals


Jill said...

I have tons of the Ruska...it was my Mother's when I was a little girl. I'm not sure why I insisted that she give it all to me. I never use it. My husband hates it. Pure nostalgia, I guess.

Glad to see your back.

Renee Finberg said...

i actually remember the last image.
i liked it them and still like it.


ps i like the new header

shari @ little blue deer said...

Amazing! I love it when we find a woman from "back in the day" who had the courage and talent to express herself! Lovely blog here, so happy to find you and happy to be your newest follower!

little augury said...

welcoming your return! love the cannibals

Pigtown-Design said...

It's so funny... Arabia is all over the place these days.


maison21 said...

welcome back, hobac! hope you enjoyed your summer off!

and happy to learn about ms. procope- i always have associated arabia with kaj franck, so delighted to be introduced to another member of the team.

Blue said...

I have the teapot but in brown. I had the Ruska till a sister ... not going to go there. I was thrilled and still am by the Valencia. Two other things I have from the same time are a white enameled salad bowl with black drawings of mushrooms around it, and a pair of silver cufflinks - my 21st birthday present to myself.