ESTERI TOMULA (born 1920 in Helsinki, died 1998 in Helsinki) began work at Arabia in 1947 as an ornamental painter in the factory's Decoration Department, and she continued as a designer of decoration from 1963 to 1984. Originally trained as a porcelain painter at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, she was primarily a prolific decorator and with only a few exceptions, did not design objects for the factory. Esteri Tomula's motifs were versions of flowers, plants, and mushrooms, which she painted in large numbers, but only a fraction of them were approved at the factory's production planning meetings. The decoration was painted by hand at the factory, as in the case of porcelain handles for fruit knives, or with serigraphic or copperplate printing techniques for mass production.

Finel, which belonged to the same group as Arabia, made numerous enamelled kitchenware items, for which Tomula designed decoration matching the ceramic tableware. Esteri Tomula's best-known anthropomorphic decorative motifs were for the Eskimo and Lappalainen (Lapp) shakers from the late 1960s and early 1970s, and her Pastoraali (Pastoral) motif from the 1950s.


Source: ARABIA Ceramics│Art│Industry by Marianne Aav, Elise Kovanen, Marjut Kumela, Helena Leppänen, Susanna Vakkari, Susann Vihma, Tapio Yli-Viikari - published by Designmuseo, 2009.

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