Birger Kaipiainen (1915-1988) is one of Finland’s best-known ceramic artists. After graduating from the Central School of Arts and Crafts, he went to work for Arabia and worked as a designer at the Arabia factory for over fifty years. His skilful and refined work inspired his contemporaries to call him the “prince of ceramics” and the “king of decorators”.
Birger Kaipiainen's work played its part in Finland’s world conquest in the field of modern applied art. In 1960, he designed for the Milan Trienniale exhibition a group of bead birds, set against the background of a monumental Finnish landscape. Kaipiainen’s birds and the exhibition design both won a Grand Prix. At the end of the 1960s he designed for Arabia the famous dishware collections Paratiisi and Apila. Paratiisi dishes combine well-defined and controlled shapes with rich decoration, achieving a beauty that never fails to inspire. The captivating Paratiisi range is a much-loved classic of Arabia. It only takes one Paratiisi dish in a table setting to make a meal into a celebration. The Apila range is decorated with verdant green clover leaves and illustrates the full force of the creative energy of the artist. Apila, which was reintroduced into the Arabia collection in 2006, is still today a very popular and much-loved tableware collection. For his works of art Birger Kaipiainen received many awards and also the honorary title of Professor in 1977. In 1981 Birger Kaipiainen received a state pension, but nevertheless continued to go to work to his studio at the Arabia factory almost every day. He died at the end of a working day on the evening of 18 July 1988.