1991 Lemminkainen's Journey to Pohjola from The Kalevala Annual Plate Series (1976 to 1999), Arabia Finland, Designed by Raija Uosikkinen

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The KALEVALA annual plates, made by Arabia from 1976 to 1999 across 24 years, featured limited edition designs by Raija Uosikkinen (1923-2004) paying tribute to Finland's iconic epic, the Kalevala. Uosikkinen skillfully combined real history with the epic's supernatural events and poetic stories of ancient gods, goddesses, and heroes. Using the silk-screen printing technique and her unique illustration style, she created captivating rustic images in brown, gold beige, black, white, and cobalt blue glazing on these decorative plates. The 1991 plate showcases a short verse from 'Lemminkainen's Journey to Pohjola' on its reverse side, while the front depicts Lemminkainen bidding farewell to his weeping mother. In excellent condition, with no chips, cracks, or design wear, the plate measures 7 7/8 inches by 7 7/8 inches and has a metal loop hook on the back for easy hanging.

The Kalevala, a 19th-century Finnish epic amalgamating Karelian and Finnish folklore and mythology, holds a central place in Finnish literature. It played a pivotal role in Finland's struggle for independence and left an enduring impact on authors like J.R.R. Tolkien. Each plate features a segment of the Kalevala in English, Finnish, and Swedish on its reverse, aligning with the poem illustrated on the front.

A little more information: Raija Uosikkinen (1923-2004) was a renowned pattern designer at Arabia, known for her extensive contributions to the company's history. She began her career by studying porcelain painting at the Central School of Arts and Crafts from 1944 to 1947, after which Arabia employed her as both a decorative painter and decoration designer from 1947 onwards, where she dedicated herself to her craft for nearly four decades until 1986.

In the 1970s, Arabia expanded its product range to include various collectibles. During this time, Raija Uosikkinen created two notable series: the Kalevala annual plates and the Christmas plate series. Her designs drew inspiration from the rich Finnish natural landscape, including her cherished allotment garden near Arabia's factory. Additionally, her extensive travels to places like Asia and the Americas left a lasting imprint on her creative work. Known for her down-to-earth, helpful, and good-humored personality, Raija Uosikkinen's artwork continues to captivate collectors today, as her pieces radiate the joy and charm that define her unique motifs.

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