As often it’s a random thriftstore find that leads me onto a path to discover a designer or a manufacturer that I never knew before. This time it was Eva Hidström (1930-).
I have written about the largest enamel manufacturer Finel before but Finland is not blessed with that many enamel artists as the craft was and is more of a mid-European thing. Eva Hidström is however one and she was the third generation of jewellery makers, her grandfather, Josef Edvard, having studied to be a goldsmith in St. Petersburg in the 19th century and her father, Heino Hidström, managing a jewellery shop in the Finnish city of Salo.
She studied at Ateneum under among others Bertel Gardberg (who urged her to start working with enamel) in Helsinki in the early 1950’s and from 1956 until 1967 she had a studio in Salo, with work and study stints in Germany and Switzerland as well. In Finland she worked with her apprentice Vuokko Kavander. She created lots of jewellery in the shape of bracelets, necklaces and earrings and focused on enamel decorations, among them scraffito which involved laying different layers of enamel glass on top of each other. She also made enamelled boxes and even exhibited at the Milan Triennale in 1960.
From 1968 until 1971 she worked for Hopeakeskus (The Silver Center) where she crafted candle holders, spoons and bowls like the one below, their inside covered with bright blue or orange enamel.
She has also worked for the gold smith Tillander (1954-1955) and she has taught at the Finnish Goldsmith School (1971-1982).
Eva Hidström particularly liked her framed enamel work as it allowed her to express herself freely without the commercial restraints. She made most of them in the 1980s.
A large part of her work was exported and there seems to be very few items on the market but her archives are held by the Design Museum in Helsinki.
Images from Turun Sanomat, Bukowskis, Auktionsverket, Leimat.fi, Salon Taiteilijaseura and the magazines Yhteisvoimin and Me Naiset.