The breakthrough of the Moomin comics started the Moomin revolution. Already in the mid-1950s, Tove Jansson was overwhelmed by the variety of product suggestions and queries, shortly after the comics had been published in the world’s largest newspaper ‘The Evening News’ in 1954.
The Finnish ceramic producer Arabia launched the first Moomin dishes already in the 1950s. The first Arabia Moomin products were produced in Helsinki, Finland and are nowadays extremely rare and valuable. The second coming of Arabia’s Moomin products was at the end of the 1980s, when Arabia’s new Product Manager Christel ”Titte” Vaenerberg got the idea to bring Moomins back to the dishes.
Motives from Tove Jansson’s original artworks
Tove Slotte (b. 1957) has illustrated Arabia’s Moomin products since the late 80s based on the original drawings by Tove Jansson. When the new Product Manager got the idea of new Moomins dishes, she knew that Tove Slotte, a devoted Moomin fan, would be perfect for the job.
Slotte has been transferring the original drawings by Tove Jansson into Arabia’s porcelain items since autumn 1989. During Slotte’s maternity leave, four mugs and a few other products were designed by Camilla Moberg.
The first Teema shaped Moomin mugs
Already in spring 1990, Tove Slotte presented the first ready-made Moomin dishes to Tove Jansson and her partner Tuulikki Pietilä. The first set consisted of wall plates, mugs, and a children’s set. Jansson only wanted a little color change for one plate. Apart from that small request, she approved the products for production. The first Moomin collection also included figurines designed by Tuulikki Pietilä.
Nowadays the designs are usually ready for 1,5-2 years before the mugs and other ceramics are in stores.
The designing process of the first Moomin mugs in the Teema series was extremely quick, as they were in stores in Sweden already in September 1990. In Finland, the first mugs were sold in the department store Stockmann only from around Christmas, after they had heard about the success in Sweden. Other stores in Finland got the products in Spring 1991.
New blog post series about Arabia’s Moomin mugs starts
Soon we will present all the Moomin mugs produced. The posts will focus on the classic Teema shaped Moomin mugs and the designing process. Do you follow us on social media to be the first one to hear the news?
Photos: Moomin Characters