Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Figgjo Museum

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)


Granada (1970-75)


Daisy (1969-75)



Market (1966-80)


Anne Marie (1971-77)


Folklore (top left, 1970-75)


Elvira (1970-80)
 

Lotte (1962-85)


Arden (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....
 


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26 comments:

  1. What a wonderful little tour you took us on! There are quite a few patterns I've never seen before. I would've been drooling. And isn't it good that they've re-released the children's set...much nicer than the restaurant dishes! xx

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    1. Oh I agree! and I WAS drooling! Glad to have introduced you to some new patterns:-) There are lots of others too, I think they're interesting and beautiful up until the eighties, afterwards they changed into the more neutral stuff. Oh yes, that children's set is gorgeous! I was so happy to see it re- released. They have some other children's sets too that has been in production for a long, long time, with characters based on a series of books by norwegian author Torbjørn Egner. Thanks, have a great week! xx

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  2. Thanks so much for the tour. All I could think, the whole time I was reading and looking at the beautiful images, is how cool it would be to live in Europe.

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    1. You're so very welcome, Dana! How great, I have room for you:-) Thanks for calling the pictures beautiful, I was kinda embarrassed when I hit the publish- button, but I thought I'd show you anyway... Thanks a lot, Dana, have a great week!

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  3. Oh Im drooling, so much beautiful stuff. Some patterns I have never seen before too - like Elvira and A la Carte. Such a pity every company seems to have gone to boring plain white for most things.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ray! Yes, it was definitely a drool- worthy display of beauties, both mum and I love Figgjo. It's a bit of a trip down memory lane:-)
      Elvira is beautiful, the black is printed on while the brown and purple is hand painted. A la carte is one of the older ones (1960), I think there's still a lot of 50s aesthetics going on. Love the black lids. There's another pattern that's very similar, but I can't remember the name.
      Figgjo has definitely had a change of character and operate in a very different market than way back when, so I guess we'll just have to keep enjoying their glorious quirkiness of the past... Have a great week:-)

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    1. It was THE greatest place, Minna! I recommend it if you ever decide to go to Norway:-) It's not very big, but there's so much beauty....
      Thanks!

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  5. How cool!!! I have pangs for Elvira now!
    The chart is great too, we do get bits and pieces of Figgio turn up here.

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    1. Oh yes, Elvira is SO beautiful, I agree!!! Imagine finding this stuff down under- I'm always amazed at how far they travel. It was a great museum, not big, but the displays gave a good representation of their heydays.
      Thank you Max, I hope Elvira will cross your path some day:-)

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  6. Oh I WANT it all, very much! ...now I have some new loves! I will now have to go back and see our holiday posts, sorry I'm late! xxx

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    1. Me too, Pippa, my knees were weak and both mum and I was drooling:-) Don't worry, Pippa, it's always so great having you over! There's a Stavanger post coming up soon:-) Have a wonderful week! xxx

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  7. I agree with Pippa - I want it ALL! So many lovely new patterns to see I can't pick a favorite. Thanks for the tour and the stamp guide. I've already downloaded it and I know it will come in handy.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much, Francine, I'm so glad you like Figgjo, warms my heart!! The popularity of this stuff makes me so proud:-) I'm so glad you found the stamp guide handy too! Yes, it's SO hard to pick a favorite, I keep discovering new things about each of them! I have dinner on Lotte plates every time I visit mum and dad. In my childhood they had Daisy and Tor Viking. My grandmother collected Folklore, I feel so fortunate to own her set now.
      Thanks Francine:-)

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  8. oh my!!..couldn't possibly choose a favourite..actually folklore has always been top of the list but look at anne marie!! so pretty.
    Al x

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    1. That's a hard task, right? I can't either!! Anne Marie is a real beauty, I love the way the pattern is applied to the different pieces, making them look so unique. Folklore has great sentimental value to me, my grandmother had it and after she passed away, it moved in with me. I really treasure it.
      Thanks, Allison! x

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  9. Oooh! I love Elvira and the kitschiness of A La Carte. I am sure I've seen that brown casserole in the first pic at my local op-shop! Guess where I'm going tomorrow?

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    1. To the Figgjo museum?? Just kidding! I'd take you on a tour:-) Oh yes, Elvira is gorgeous, it's partly hand painted too. Ooh, you make me curious, anything to do with that lamp?xx

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  10. Oi, oi, oi .... der skulle vi gjerne ha vært !!! :-)
    Foreløpig må vi nøye oss med å lese hva du har skrevet og studere bilder du har tatt. Takk for det superinteressante innlegget :-)
    Hilsen Pep og Salt

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    1. Bare hyggelig:-) Jeg boblet jo litt over da vi kom derfra, så det måtte bare ut "på papiret"! Hvis dere skal til Stavanger/ Sandnes området en gang, kan jeg absolutt anbefale en tur, men det er ikke stort, så jeg ville nok ikke reist helt dit ens ærend...
      Fabrikkutsalget har et enormt utvalg, men personlig syns jeg nok ikke alt det hvite restaurantservicet kan måle seg til knærne engang mot alt det lekre fra glansperioden. Bedriften har en enorm suksess både på hotell, restaurant og cruise markedet, men er nok dessverre ikke lenger interessant for slike som oss. Unntatt de fine barneservicene da, Egner og ikke minst Mons, det er kjempefint!

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  11. I need to go to Norway...looks amazing

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  12. Hi,

    Thanks so much for this post! I found some A la Carte for the first time today, so this is very helpful!

    Maarit

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    1. You're very welcome, glad you find it helpful:-) You're lucky to have found some A la Carte, they don't show up very often!

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  13. This was so fun for me to read! I am American, but my grandfather was raised outside Stavanger, and I inherited my grandparents' set of Figgjo Market, which they brought from Norway in suitcases in the 60s. I'd love to visit the museum on my next visit to Norway!

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    1. Hi, wonderful to hear from you. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading about the Figgjo factory! How lovely that you have your grandparents' set, a beautiful memento from the "old country"! It's not a big museum, but certainly worth a visit if you're in the area. It shows a nice selection of the patterns they've made over the years, and it's kinda special to be on the site where all those beauties were produced. If you're as geeky about it as me, that is:-)

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