Thursday, August 01, 2013

Stavangerflint Finse.... and a gift for mum

Just as I was concidering starting to collect Stavangerflint Finse (it's one of those patterns I grew up with, I'm a hopeless nostalgic...), a teaset for six appeared in a local charity store yesterday for next to nothing! Of course, I concider no more, the matter is settled now and I'm in love- again!!!

Finse is named after a mountain area in the middle of Norway and was designed by Kåre Berven Fjeldsaa in the 60s. Finse is actually where George Lucas shot one of the Star Wars movies in 1979!! The landscape there was supposedly a good representation of the planet Hoth... Now that's a fact I never thought I'd mention in this blog:-) 

My parents had a Finse teaset, but gave it away to a charity store years ago, long before I was old (or wise!!) enough to appreciate it. I was really thrilled to find it. It's in a delicious light olive with brown trim, and is very rustic.


I adore Fjeldsaa's designs. Born (1918) and raised in Sandnes, close to Figgjo, he was a "homegrown" ceramic artist, educated at the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Oslo from 1937-42. From 1958 Fjeldsaa became head of design at the earthenware factory Stavangerflint AS in Stavanger. After the merging of Stavangerflint AS and Figgjo Fajanse AS in 1968 to Figgjo Fajanse Stavangerflint AS, he continued as head of design and product development from 1973, after Ragnar Grimsrud, who had that same position at Figgjo Fajanse, retired. 

As a ceramic artist Fjeldsaa was a pioneer in the use of stoneware. His objects from this period were highly appreciated and he was awarded a gold medal at the Triennal in Milan in 1954 and at the International Exhibition of Ceramics in Cannes in 1957. As artistic manager and designer at Stavangerflint he made his designs both in "flintware" (fine earthenware), ovenproof models, vitroporcelain and stoneware. His most well-known creations are the model Kongsstein, the flintware series Brunette and Finse in stoneware. 

Fjeldsaa is known for his subtle relieff patterns, like Brunette. The decor is integrated in the design with a discreet surface pattern, highlighted by the color and glaze. He was also the designer behind the  pieces that were decorated by Inger Waage, also a Sandnes girl, like Sera and Kon Tiki.

Fjeldsaa and Waage in the late 50s. Picture from the Stavangerflint archives 
at the Figgjo museum. 

Like Finse? My great blog friend Artic Mum still has four salad plates for sale at her ScandiShop on Etsy. She compared them to Arabia Ruska, a thought that never crossed my mind, but she's absolutely right! The surface has that same coarsenes and the shape of the plates are quite similar. I will definitely use them together. Finse can add some lightness to the otherwise gloomy Ruska (don't get me wrong, I love gloomy...). Just like Ruska, I think Finse too looks very modern and ahead of it's time. Do visit the ScandiShop even if you're not in the market for Finse, she has a lot of lovely pieces.

I also found this Lotte Gravy boat for my mum. She has the dinner set. Lotte was designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver in 1962, and was in production for 23 years, until 1985. While setting the table at my mum's, I took a few pics of her beautiful plates and the lovely tablecloth she chose to go with them. Mum and dad also uses their Skaugum cutlery daily. It's in teak and steel and was designed in the late 40s. It's still in production at Geilo by the very same family that started the business, look here. The teak has, however, been replaced by Kebony. If you're lucky you can find them in teak in thrift stores, but if you do, you'd better keep them out of the dishwasher...


In my post about my recent visit to the Figgjo museum I totally forgot to mention that there's a book out about the factory, containing a lot of interesting history and a lot of pictures. I did, of course, get a copy:-) Unfortuneately, it's currently only in norwegian. Should there be a lot of international interest, though, they might be convinced to publish an english version.

I love this picture of the young and beautiful Turi Gramstad Oliver proudly holding a dish in her newly introduced Lotte pattern in 1962. She was only 24, what a gal!

Don't you just hate the sound and look of broken pottery? This 50s Graveren piece didn't make it home....


  1. A fascinating post again Tove, so good to read it all. Your blog is becoming such a fantastic resource.

    I agree the Finse design is almost identical in shape to Ruska, and I love the colours of it. I like to look at Ruska but hate using it because it makes the sound of fingernails on a blackboard when the cutlery moves against it! Love drinking out of the Ruska cups though.

    I have a number of pieces of Figgjo flintware which I use in the kitchen - it never wears. I have seen that cutlery before in quite worn condition, but didn't know about it until now.

    It is great learning about all these Norwegian brands and makers. Apart from the big brands like Figgjo and Stavanglerflint it is often hard to find out good information on Norwegian ceramics...especially the smaller studios.

    I hope Figgjo produce the book in English - it would be a fantastic resource - they would sell heaps!! Vintage Figgjo is hugely popular everywhere.

    Have a great weekend up there.

    1. Thank you so much, Ray, for the lovely comment, I'm so excited that you find reading my blog worth while:-)

      I have to agree about the creepy sounds of cutlery against Ruska, many people I know (including those I share my house with!) feel the same way about it.... I hear it too, but loving Ruska so much, I try to pretend I don't:-)

      I'm so glad to hear that you use your Figgjo regularly, I do that too! They're too lovely to be stacked away. They're so durable and it's so great that there's so much of it still around for our generation to enjoy. I'm so curious, which are your favorite Figgjo designs? I tend to buy the ones I remember from growing up, but have a really hard time narrowing it down...

      I'm thrilled about your interest in our Norwegian brands! If you come by information in Norwegian (or Danish or Swedish for that sake) don't hesitate to ask me if you want me to help you translate. I will definitely let you know if that book gets an English translation. I hope so!!

      Have a great weekend you too, Ray, and thanks again:-)

  2. I love the rugged simplicity of the Finse and the cheerful optimism of the Lotte. My heart broke when I saw the bowl that didn't make it home.

    1. Thanks Dana, I'm so glad you like them! A few years ago I would have found both Ruska and Finse far too rugged, but now I adore them both! As I seem to be unable to narrow it down to collecting just a couple of patterns, it's great to find matching ones to mix:-)
      I was heartbroken to see the bowl in pieces too, but the comfort is that there was an identical one in the same thrift store... Have a great weekend, Dana!

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Tove! I love the Finse teacups, I sold the coffe cups - these tea cups are also so cute! Gorgeous photos too. How funny that Finse was in Star Wars :-) I have the book too, use it all the time - but I think of the patterns are not included, am I right? Do you know if there is other books about the Figgjo and Stavangerflint patterns?

    1. Bare hyggelig å reklamere litt for butikken din:-) Kjekt at du fikk omsetning på serviset, jeg hadde litt dårlig samvittighet for at jeg ikke kjøpte det av deg. Da du viste meg bildet første gang, var jeg sikker på at mamma fortsatt hadde sitt... Det stemmer at alle mønstrene ikke er i boken, og det er litt synd. Så vidt jeg vet er det ikke skrevet andre bøker om produksjonen. Det hadde vært fint med en om Stavangerflint også, og om det som ble laget etter sammenslåingen. Kanskje en oppgave for sånne som oss?

  4. I herd that bowl break from here! So sad!
    Love the ruska and Finse mix, match made in heaven! Great post xx

    1. Although I didn't hear it break (the soundproofing of an overfilled handbag:-), I could feel it's pain... Luckily, there is another one just like it in the store, I'll hurry back before it's sold. No big risk, actually, Graveren is not very well known where I live!
      I'm so glad you like the Finse and Ruska match, I was so glad when I noticed what a great match they are!
      Thanks Pippa:-) xx

  5. how much is that wonderful Figgjo book??

    1. If I remember correctly, I think it was around 30 euros. I wish they would publish it in english, they would sell heaps!! The only downside is that all the patterns aren't there.

  6. Lovely post as usual. I am envious of all the great pottery you find. Your mom and dad have great taste, no surprise you do too!

    1. Thank you so much, Beatriz, you're so sweet. I always feel the same way about your finds! I've just been over to admire your latest:-)


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