Special stamp on Arabia Moomin Classics mugs to celebrate Moomins’ anniversary year
2020 marks 75 years since the first Moomin book was published, and to celebrate this, Arabia is marking the 21 regular Moomin mug in the collection with a special gold-coloured stamp printed on the bottom of the mugs for a limited period. The price of these mugs is the same as the regular mugs. The mugs will arrive with us Friday 14th August 2020.
In 1990, Arabia started reproducing the Moomin dishes in the iconic Teema shape. It was then, 30 years ago, that ceramist and illustrator Tove Slotte began illustrating Arabia’s Moomin collection, and her work still continues. One of the most popular mugs illustrated by Slotte is the Love mug from 1996. It is still in production, and one of the top five most popular mugs today. Slotte explains that many people started collecting Moomin mugs with the Love mug, and she believes that the illustration’s emotional appeal is the reason for the mug’s popularity.
Now, Arabia will celebrate the Moomins’ 75th anniversary year with a special collection of the Classics mugs with a celebratory stamp. The gold-colored stamp says “Moomin 75” and it is illustrated with a picture of Moominpappa, Moominmamma and Moomintroll in a warm hug.
TOVE the movie
Entitled TOVE, the first feature film about Tove Jansson is now in production, directed by Zaida Bergroth and shot in Helsinki, Finland in Jansson's native language Swedish. Tove Jansson is portrayed by Alma Pöysti, a rising Finnish actress mostly known for her work in the theatre scene both in Finland and in Sweden. Vivica Bandler is played by Krista Kosonen and Shanti Roney plays Atos Wirtanen. The national premiere in Finland is in September 2020.
“I cried and laughed at the same time when I got the call”, Alma Pöysti describes the moment when she heard she had landed the role of Tove Jansson in the first feature drama film ever made about the world-famous Moomin creator. “Just like almost every Finn I grew up with her. We were surrounded by Tove’s art and works ever since I was a child. I think I even learnt to talk through her words, because we were always reading her books in my family.”
Interestingly, Alma Pöysti also has a personal connection to Tove Jansson, as her grandmother Birgitta Ulfsson was a close friend of Jansson, and Pöysti met her when she was a child. This played an important role also when she heard about getting the role: “I jumped on my bike and bought flowers and went to the cemetery; to Tove’s grave and my grandmother’s grave, which are quite close to each other. They were friends, and I felt a connection to Tove through my grandmother.”
- Magnus Englund
The Moomin opera
The Finnish National Opera staged the Moomin Opera in 1974/75. The initiative came from the composer Ilkka Kuusisto. He had seen previous Moomin stage plays and contacted Tove Jansson about a possible collaboration, and only shortly afterwards Tove started writing a libretto. The story of the Moomin opera was the same as the stage play Troll i kulisserna written in a opera format. In the opera, however, the whole Moomin family was present.
In the Moomin opera an underwater volcano causes a flood in the Moominvalley, forcing the Moomin family to flee and eventually find shelter at the opera. Here the family starts pursuing the art of the opera. It turns out that the Fillyjonks housemaid Misabel is a real opera star.
The opera was musically very versatile and Ilkka Kuusisto made in addition to the classical children’s opera also oratorio songs, operetts and even electronic dance music. The Moomin opera was directed and choreographed by Heikki Värtsi, and aired for the first time in December 1974. The critics were not fully convinced, but the children loved seeing the characters live on stage. The opera was shown 34 times, and around 15,000 people got to see it.
- Magnus Englund
Letters from Tove book
Published by Sort Of Books a month from now, a new book with personal letters by Tove Jansson is available now for pre-order. Penned with grace and humour, Letters from Tove offers an almost seamless commentary on Tove Jansson's life as it unfolds within Helsinki's bohemian circles and her island home.
Spanning fifty years between her art studies and the height of Moomin fame, we share with her the bleakness of war; the hopes for love that were dashed and renewed, and her determined attempts to establish herself as an artist.
Out of the thousands of letters Tove Jansson wrote a cache remains that she addressed to her family, her dearest confidantes, and her lovers, male and female. Into these she spilled her innermost thoughts, defended her ideals and revealed her heart. To read these letters is both an act of startling intimacy and a rare privilege.
- Magnus Englund
Tove flower crown making workshop
Moomin Characters and iconic, London-based floral design company, McQueens, are partnering up to offer free flower crown making workshops to celebrate midsummer and the start of festival season.
The workshops will be held at the Moomin Shop in Camden Stables Market on Saturday 29th June from 12 noon to 4pm. Attendees will learn which blooms make for the best designs and how to combine flowers into a stylish crown in the midsummer tradition.
Flower crowns are an important part of the midsummer celebrations in Finland, where Moomin creator Tove Jansson lived and worked. She was photographed wearing her own flower crown on the island of Klovharu, in the Finnish archipelago, where she spent every summer. The natural world was a big influence on Jansson, and flora and fauna feature largely in the Moomin stories she wrote and illustrated.
The flower crown making workshops, led by McQueens florist Henry Tai, will take place at the Moomin Shop in Camden Stables Market on Saturday 29th June at 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00. The sessions are free to attend but places are limited. Book through Eventbrite. Photo credit: © Moomin Characters ™
- Magnus Englund
Tove's muralsTove Jansson painted several wall murals in her lifetime, including the stunning “Party in the City” (1947) for the Kaupunginkellari restaurant at Helsinki City Hall. She added herself into the picture, seated at the table in the foreground. Looking carefully, and you see a small Moomin visible beside her glass. The dark beauty on the dance floor is Tove's then love, the theatre director Vivica Bandler (1917-2004) of Svenska Teatern. The secret relationship between Vivica Bandler and Tove Jansson inspired the characters Thingumy and Bob. The connection is even more clear in the original Swedish names Tofslan and Vifslan, which where nicknames Tove and Vivica would sometimes call each other. Thingumy and Bob's precious gem stone the King's Ruby can be read as symbolising the precious love between Tove and Vivica.
- Magnus Englund