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Nice stuff, but expensive!

August 30, 2013

I bought myself some great dishes from Kultakeramiikka in the late 1990s when I was starting out on my own here (my mom helped me complete the set), but now they’re starting to show their age. So I am in the market for a new set of dishes.

I’d love to buy something Finnish, even though my understanding is that very little of anything from Finnish companies like iittala, Arabia, Pentik or Kultakeramiikka is actually made in Finland anymore. But man, this stuff is expensive!

I am resisting the temptation to go to my closest IKEA and fork out money for a new set of dishes, but it’s tempting let me tell ya. On the other hand, I am definitely not opposed to buying so-called “second class” dishes, because if you think about it, imperfections in ceramics are what give them character.

I’d love to get some of the current “Seriesless” (Sarjaton in Finnish) dishes from iittala, but these are really… not cheap. The Sarjaton series was put together by a number of designers, it has an interesting background. I took the pictures in the gallery at a store in Vantaa (with permission). I love the forest and fish scale theme, seeing how I love the bush and water, it fits my personality. I also love the colour combinations designer Alfredo Häberli has put together with the iittala Origo series, they’re bold and bright!

The other consideration in buying dishes here is whether they will still be manufactured in that just-right colour after a certain date. I have bought a full set of dishes for all three of my sisters as gifts. One has the Kultakeramiikka green, another has the discontinued Arabia yellow and the other one has the also discontinued Arabia terracotta. My youngest sister was the most recent recipient of a set of dishes when she hand-picked the colour herself during a visit to Finland last year. She picked the Arabia terracotta, which is a brick red colour – really nice. Imagine my horror when I went to the store in January this year and saw a sign that indicated Arabia terracotta was no longer being manufactured as of the end of 2012. The set of dishes was incomplete… So I set into (panic) search mode and completed the set hunting in three different stores to find what was missing. <Phew> Upon checking out the iittala website I noticed this useful list of discontinued items.

When I finally get my school stuff behind me, I’ll be able to put more thought into what I want on my table.

What brand of dishes grace your kitchen? Any favourites? Suggestions?

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Pictures of the Sarjaton and Origo series used with permission.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2013 6:42 pm

    Sometimes I’ve bought the 2nd class Iittala and Arabia at the Arabiakeskus outlet. But if you want something different and definitely Finnish, it might be a good idea to see what the young designers have…. But where to find those… that’s a good question!

  2. Sonia permalink
    September 2, 2013 9:44 pm

    Tableware, aaah 🙂 don’t get me started. When I moved to Finland, I was buying a lot of Iittala and Arabia, because it was different. Never at full price. There are vouchers, offers, stamps, member discounts. Now, when I see same stuff in most households and canteens and the products are designed in Finland, BUT (cheaply) made in Thailand, still carrying a overpriced tag, I hardly buy anything. We also uncluttered our kitchen (otherwise it would look like an outlet). We (still) use Teema everyday and I do like our glasses of the (discont’d) Mondo, Tapio and Essence. For better occasions, I started to collect Villeroy & Boch New Wave (when on offer, because it’s even more expensive :/ , but of high quality).

    I am missing any kind of “shopping patriotism” – I buy things with good price/quality ratio, no matter from where. Knowing your mindset, I’d propose smaller Finnish producers/”designers”, but this does not mean that it gets any cheaper than Iittala/Arabia 😦 On the opposite. Pentik, Jussiskeramik Åland and Saaradesign come to my mind. Handicrafted, viking-type stuff can rather be found in Tallinn. More affordable, but good: Swedish Sagaform, German Asa (which has numerous styles and awarded design prizes).

    Do browse huuto at times; sometimes you can get good deals and pick up the stuff in the metropolitan area. I frequently get -40/30% discount at Iittala store, but don’t use it anymore. Just let me know if I can do something for you!

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