Mum and I visited the Figgjo museum yesterday. The Figgjo factory is located a 30 minute drive from my home town Stavanger in a place by the same name, Figgjo. For some strange reason I haven't visited the museum and factory store before, I just haven't gotten around to it. Figgjo was founded in 1941 by the Figgjo river, and was called Figgjo Kraftselskap AS, (Figgjo power company). The first tunnel oven was set up in 1946, and is still in use. The company started producing fayence in 1947 and changed name to Figgjo Fajanse in 1949.
The fusion with their biggest competition, Stavangerflint, was finalized in 1968. Stavangerflint was finally closed down in 1979 and the company changed it's name to Figgjo AS.
The museum is in a corner of the factory store. It's not big, but has quite nice displays of the most popular patterns and designs both before and after the ones we all know and love. Please excuse the quality of the pictures, it's really bad. Photographing through glass is rarely a success, just thought I'd give you an idea....
A la carte (1960-65)
Anne Marie (1971-77)
Folklore (top left, 1970-75)
A private collection of coffee- and teapots, on display at the museum
The Figgjo factory is very much alive and kicking, but has moved on from the domestic market to become a major supplier for restaurants, hotels and cruise ships. I heard someone saying they're the world's largest supplier to cruise ships, I haven't had that piece of information confirmed, though. Today Figgjo’s mass produced ceramics lack the quirky originality and character, they're also mostly white, a neutral base that restaurants prefer, there's only a few exceptions.
A lot of the pieces have interesting shapes for creative presentation of food and Figgjo is still known to use innovative designers. A lot of the stuff they make is too "restauranty" for my taste, but I did find this new take on the "tv-plate" interesting. You can see the original tv- plate below, that I inherited from my grandmother.
It was also such a thrill to see that the children's set "Mons" from 1975 is in production again in two colors, green and red. The green is the original color, red is new. This pattern has always reminded me of "Arden", of course they're both designed by the amazing Turi Gramstad Oliver.
Apart from the displayed pieces, the museum also has a lot of interesting facts and timelines. I photographed this poster of the stamps they've used through the times in chronological order for you guys to date any mystery pieces:-) If you download the image, it's actually readable....