Scandinavian Retro Design

In today’s society, there are so many products, both good and bad. I therefore think it feels extra nice to be able to find gems in flea markets and charity shops. It has always been a great interest for me. Over the years I have, in addition to all the beautiful things I bought, gained an interest in design and designers. There are amazing things created by so talented artists and designers around the world.

There are so many designers and artists who are worth mentioning and today I am going to tell you about some of my favorite in Scandinavian Retro design world.

PER-OLOF, PEO STRÖM (1942 -)

First of all have to be a fantastic glass artist from Sweden, PEO Ström – PO Ström.

Peo Ström trained at Konstfack’s school during the 60s. After graduating in 1966 on the metal compartment, Peo Ström chose to build an extension year on sculpture training. In 1967, he was commissioned to draw a new collection for Alsterfors Glasbruk, where he was until their bankruptcy. His glass in geometric shapes and mellow colors became his hallmark and has a very high collector value today.

Following the bankruptcy of Alsterfors Glasbruk in 1971, Peo Ström started a company with manufacturing in the lighting area, which still exists today.

(Picture from Auktionstipset.se)

This light blue glass vase with its bulky shapes is quite lovely.

Below is a green vase with a yellow glass ball as a lid.

(Picture from Auktionstipset.se)

Peo Ström has made lots of glass objects. Most are in lovely popish colors, but there is also a lot in clear glass. The colored ones are the most sought after and usually pay a fairly high price. If you find any item in a flea market or auction, do not hesitate to buy them. I can almost guarantee you will love these glasses. They are so beautiful and if you place them so that the sun’s rays shine through them, it will be like the most beautiful jewel.

(Picture from Auktionstipset.se)

Imagine this green, beautiful lamp base with its slightly angular shapes in a beautiful window. One can only think that his glass is delicious, right?

Erik Höglund (1932 – 1998)


Erik Höglund was a Swedish sculptor, painter and craftsman. He studied at Konstfack in Stockholm. First, decorative painting, then sculpture and graphics. Between 1953 and 1973, Höglund worked at Boda Glasbruk and had, among other things, glass artist Bertil Vallien as assistant. Höglund came to revolutionize the Swedish glass and created unique art and utility items in glass and forging. Who does not recognize his magnificent chandeliers, which today value a very high value. Höglund also created wooden furniture and sculptures in materials such as ceramics, stone, bricks and bronze. From the early 1950s until his death, he created almost 150 major works for the public environment. He later collaborated with other glass works such as Pukeberg, Studioglas Strömbergshyttan and Lindshammar.

In 1968 he and the glass artist Monica Backström founded the design company Backström & Höglund Design AB. They focused on the design of furniture, household appliances and utensils for public spaces.

Photos of products from Erik Höglunds production. Iron Tree, Chandelier and Mug/Tankards. On these mugs there are motives of Adam and Eve.

Although it is his chandeliers that shine most beautifully, he also made small, rather modest glass objects. Ashtray in colored solid glass with stamped motifs.

They were first made to be included as decorative details in mural decorations, but they later had another more obvious function, such as ashtray. This was during the smoking period and they were launched by Boda Glasbruk in 1957.

They were round, rectangular and square, in all possible colors. The barrels were stamped with motifs of bar-breasted women, stick figures, moose, zodiac signs and crowns.

As you can see in the photos, there is a great variety of barrels / ashtrays, both form and color. The most common colors are brown, orange, green and blue. Should you find a purple barrel, then you can laugh happily, they are very unusual.

He was a very multifaceted artist whose products are very sought after today. If you want to decorate your home with his work, it is important to keep your eyes open on flea markets, antique shops, auctions and the like.

I really enjoy both looking for beautiful glass on flea markets and auctions and then decorating my home with it. It gives such a lovely and elegant feeling when the sun’s rays shine through a beautiful glass. There are many more talented artists, and I will of course tell you about several of my favorites later on.

If you have a favorite glass artist you want to tell me about, then I will be happy to write a comment.

2019 design exhibitions – Design, Happenings and Fairs

Design Exhibitions of 2019

Are you, like I, very interested in the design of all of its kind, then it is a joy when new exhibitions open that you can visit and enjoy. Or perhaps your favorite is to go to fairs or events focusing on design, form or antiquity. Whatever you like, there are plenty of different arrangements to choose from, no matter where in the world you live.

The Museum of Modern Art in New York

MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art will during spring 2019 show an exhibition about good and useful design titled “The value of good design”.

They will show everything from domestic furnishings and appliances to glass, transport design, toys, ceramics, electronics and sporting goods.

MoMA describes the exhibition as follows:

“Good Design explores the democratizing potential of design, beginning with MoMA’s Good Design initiatives from the late 1930s through the 1950s, which championed well-designed, affordable contemporary products. The concept of Good Design also took hold beyond the Museum, with governments on both sides of the Cold War division embracing it as a vital tool of social and economic reconstruction and technological advancement in the years following World War II. This global scope is reflected in many of the items on view from a mass-market Italian Fiat Cinquecento automobile and a Soviet-era East German camera to a Japanese poster for a Mitsubishi sewing machine and a Brazilian bowl chair. These works join both iconic and unexpected items made in the US, such as the Eames La Chaise, a Chemex Coffee Maker, and Irwin Gershen’s Shrimp Cleaner”.

The exhibition also wants to raise the question to its visitors about what good design means today and whether the mid-century design can be transferred and used in today’s society. Visitors also have the opportunity to try for themselves what they think of some design classics that are still in production.

The exhibition will be displayed until June 15, so if you have the opportunity, I really think it is worth visiting.

(Picture from MoMA)

European fairs and events

Belgium

Affordable art fair

Brussels 15 – 17 Mars

Whether you are a seasoned collector, or a first time buyer, Affordable Art Fair Brussels is a great place to fall in love with hand-selected affordable art. Browse and buy 1000s of paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures by exciting contemporary artists, plus enjoy the packed program of interactive workshops. Here you find something for everybody.

Eurantica brussels fine art fair.

Brussels 23 – 31 Mars

Collectors of ancient paintings, modern art, jewelry and furniture with quality label- Here you can everything you didn’t know you were looking for.

Finland

World of Collectibles

Tampere, Finland

12 – 14 April

Antiques, collectibles, stamps, vinyls and other finds! Are you are in Finland this is a must.

France

Antibes Art Fair (SALON D’ANTIBES)

19 April – 2 May

Modern Art & Antiques Fair. The Antibes Art Fair is the international spring gathering for all lovers, enthusiasts and collectors of antiques, design, modern art and contemporary art. I wish I could go to this one. Lovely design and antiques in beautiful Antibes. Nothing can be wrong with that.

Paris

Paris International Antique Fair. La Biennale Paris 2019

13 – 17 September

The Biennale Paris offers a wide range of specialties presented by internationally renowned professionals in the field of Antiquities, Fine Arts and Jewelry. This fair is on my bucket list. Although I, most likely, could not afford to buy anything, it would be a dream to walk around this fair and just enjoy it. Look at all the beautiful things and soak up the atmosphere.

Sweden

Stockholm

Young Swedish Design 2019

February 26 – March 31

“Discover the most intriguing new designs from Sweden’s young creatives. The exhibition Young Swedish Design displays unique pieces from a range of disciplines: from product design to crafts. Young Swedish Design provides a window to the future and a platform for young designers to showcase their ideas”.

Photo below is on the chair Lobster. Amazing Swedish design, don´t you think?

Lobster. Designer: Martin Thübeck. Photo by: Jeanette Hägglund

Stockholm

Thielska Gallery

February 26 – June 2

The Jobs sisters – Ceramic and Textiles

“The two sisters Lisbet and Gocken Jobs created ceramics and textiles that made Swedish homes blossom during the post-war period. Wildflower bouquets cover ceramic dishes and tiles while lingonberry- and blueberries are arranged into decorative patterns applied onto hand printed textiles. Folk culture with midsummer celebrations, people cheering and musicians playing are also found among the Jobs sisters’ motives”.

Jobs Handtryck started already in the 1940s and has since then manufactured timeless classic fabrics, without looking at either fashion or interior design trends. Here it is instead the artist’s beautiful design and the craftsmanship that is at the center. This means that a Jobs fabric is always right in time, always modern and very sought after.

Netherlands

Rotterdam

February 9 – May 26

Bauhaus – Pioneers of a new world


The museum shows Bauhaus’s hundred years with a large exhibition about the legendary art and design school, whose influence is great today. I will feature almost eight hundred objects and works, a great many being shown for the first time.

Two hundred of the eight hundred works in the exhibition come from the museum’s own collection. Six hundred are loans and will be coming from more than sixty lenders from the Netherlands and abroad.


There are lots of interesting and enjoyable exhibitions and fairs around the world. This was just a small sample of what is available. Are you are interested in visiting these arrangements, it is best to search the country’s tourist information or at a specific museum.

Are you have an interesting tip that you want to share, I hope you will leave a comment here. It is always fun to hear what others enjoy and find pleasure from.

Mid Century Textile – Swedish Design

I really love fabrics and its amazing designs. There are a lot of textile artists who have made magnificent designs. I’m going to tell you about some real fine mid century textiles and its creators. In this article, I mostly focus on Swedish textile and their designers.

The history of the Swedish textile

Textile art has a long history of over 20,000 years and Sweden’s first textile factories were built in the early 19th century when the industrial revolution began. Mass production changed the thinking about fabric and textile. Everything from clothes to home textiles became cheaper, even the less well-off families could afford beautiful fabrics and more home furnishing textiles, such as bed linen and linen pillowcases. The great demand for textiles shifted the focus to the design.

BORÅS COTTON

    One of my favorites and Sweden’s oldest, Borås Cotton, can look back on over 100 years of Swedish textile design. During the 1970s and 1980s, Borås Cotton developed into an internationally recognized design company and many of the most influential designers in Swedish textile history are represented in their archive. I have a couple of favorite designers who work at Borås Cotton.

    STOBO

    Stockholms Bomullsspinneri and Väfveri AB, later STOBO, was founded in 1869. It was not until Göta Trädgårdh was employed as an artistic leader, which the company began to invest more in the design of the fabrics. Many Swedish textile artists made beautiful, and currently very desirable, textiles for Stobo. Unfortunately, STOBO’s investment in this new textile design never became a major sales success, even though they were suitable for both interior and clothing.

    GAMLESTADENS TEXTILE

    By the middle of the 19th century, the company Alex Barclay & C founded o Rosenlunds spinneri. It did not go very well, but after Johannes Johansson and Christoffer Carlander, in 1880 took over the factory, a strong expansion began. At the turn of the century, Gamlestadens Fabriker, as they called the business, was one of Scandinavia’s largest cotton factories.

    STRÖMMA

    Strömma Cotton spinner was built in 1833 north of Karlshamn. A large new weaving mill for cotton fabrics was built in the late 1940s and the cotton fabric from Strömma became known throughout Sweden. The operations at Strömma were kept going right into the 1970s.

    NORRKÖPINGS BOMULLSVÄFVERI AB

    Norrköpings Bomullsväfveri AB, called Tuppen, was a textile industry in Norrköping, which was founded in 1852 and was developed into one of the country’s leaders in the industry. The company Tuppen worked until 1961 when it was in Gamlestadens Fabrikers AB.

    Well-known Swedish textile artists

    When you talk about Swedish fabrics and its designers, there are a number that are especially known and popular. Not just by me but by the rest of Sweden and also in the world.

    Astrid Sampe (1909-2002)

    Astrid Sampe studied at Konsfack in Stockholm and later at the Royal College of Art in London. In 1935, she started working as a designer for Nordiska Kompaniet (NK) and in 1937 she became head of Nordiska Kompaniet’s textile design department and remained so until 1971. Astrid Sampe worked for several other textile producers and also established her own studio in Stockholm.

    She was very successful at the World Fairs in Paris 1937 and in New York 1939. For the exhibition in New York she worked on the design of the Swedish Pavilion together with the Swedish architect Sven Markelius.

    Astrid Sampe was a very innovative and creative designer who designed modern textiles which is still in demand and very attractive today.

    Astrid Sampe – Nordiska Kompaniets Textilkammare – “Glasfibershadow”

    Stig Lindberg (1916-1982)

    Stig Lindberg was a multi-faceted artist. He designed ceramics, porcelain, textiles, glass. He was also a good artist and illustrator.

    After his education at Konstfack, he joined Gustavsberg 1937 and became the company faithful until 1980. He had an outstanding talent and was a very hard-working man. Even today, everything he has designed is highly valued and sought after. There are some products that have come back in production, for those who do not want vintage items.

    Stig Lindberg – “Herbarium”

    Viola Gråsten (1910-1994)

    Viola Gråsten was borned in Finland, but came to Sweden during the war in 1944. She started to design shaggy rugs for Textiles & Interiors in Stockholm. A year later she took a post at the NK Textile Studio, where she began to design patterns for textiles and made a reputation for her colorful geometric designs. In 1956, she became artistic director of fashion textiles at Mölnlycke Weavers, where she stayed until her retirement in 1973.

    Viola Gråsten is also well known for its design on wool blankets from Tidstrand. They were loved when they arrived and even today it is a design icon in the retro trendy homes. Warm and cosy!


    Viola Gråsten – Mölnlycke Textile – “Trio” Plaid – Tidstrand – “Snark”

    Göta Trägårdh (1904-1984)

    She studied at the textile department at the Technical School in Stockholm 1920-1925. Between 1925-1930, his studies continued at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts’ decorative department from 1925 to 1930. Together with Anders Beckman she started Beckmans design college in 1939, where she then worked as a teacher in pattern composition and fashion drawing. She was a consultant at Gefle Ångväveri from 1944, artistic director at Stobo AB 1954–1964, artistic advisor at Gamlestadens Fabriker 1964–1975.

    Her production was extremely extensive and she designed a hundred designs from the 1950s to the early 1980s. They largely had two specializations, patterns with a simple but refined graphic design and stylized plant motifs in bold color combinations. Several of her own fabric prints have over time become modern classics and hard to find.

    Göta Trägårdh – “La Rose” – Stobo

    Inez Svensson (1932-2005)

    Inez Svensson was a leading designer and textile artist in the Swedish textile industry during the second half of the 20th century.

    She trained as a fashion designer at Beckmans school. After the studies, Inez Svensson worked with two of Sweden’s foremost textile designers. First as an intern at Astrid Sampe at NK’s Textile Chamber and then at Göta Trägårdh at Stobo.

    In 1956 Inez Svensson traveled to the United States to study at the Art Institute of Chicago. Once returned from the US, she became artistic director of Borås Wäfveri’s pattern studio.

    In the 1960s, Inez Svensson, together with nine other textile artists, formed a craft collective that was named the 10th group. In 2015, IKEA bought the 10-group, which will release a collection of their fabrics this year.

    Her designs were often geometric and in bright colors, many with stripes as a base.

    Inez Svensson – “Rosenhill” – Borås Wäfveri

    There are a number of more talented and well-known Swedish textile designers that I will tell you more about a little later.

    High & Low Retro Design

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    About Me

    Welcome to my world of retro design. Everything between High & Low.

    MY STORY

    I’ve always been a passionate collector of older, retro design things. I love fabrics, furniture, porcelain and everything else from a time that has been. Things from the beginning of the 20th century to the 1980s, everything that has charm and a beautiful exterior. There is really nothing that I would not think of collecting, but I have to have some limitations, unless otherwise purely space-wise. Fortunately, there are plenty of things already produced, beautiful designs and cool retro thing for everyone to collect.


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    Helen

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