Signe Persson Melin’s 

Congratulations to Signe Persson Melin on her 90th birthday June 19! Signe was born in Sweden’s southernmost province of Skåne in 1925. Her professional life has been incredibly productive and she ranks among Sweden’s most appreciated and most wide-ranging designers and craftspeople.

Her major breakthrough came at the H55 exhibition held in Helsingborg in 1955 where she showed a series of ceramic spice jars covered with a tin glaze. Since that time she has designed products in ceramics, metal, glass, concrete and Eternit for companies like Kosta Boda, Boda Nova, Höganäs, Rörstrand, Byarums Bruk and Svenskt Tenn. She has also undertaken a number of public commissions including a ceramic decoration for a wall of some 145 metres at the T-Centralen metro station in Stockholm on which she collaborated with Anders Österlin.

Wall decorations at T-Centralen underground station in Stockholm
Wall decoration by Signe Persson-Melin and Anders Österlin at T-Centralen in Stockholm (1957).

As well as kitchenware Signe has also designed garden pots and an Eternit birdbath which was later produced in recycled aluminium. She has also designed a system of modular, wavy garden tiles with accompanying birdbaths and planting pots made of concrete.

Signe has designed several products for Design House Stockholm over the years: the Secrets ceramic boxes glazed in various nuances of glossy celadon green; the prize-winning service Umbra in black and white glazed stoneware with a raw, unglazed edge; the Melin teapot; and vases and bowls with folded rims in white glass for production at our hot-glass studio Vet Hut. Signe is also the founder of the group of designers known as Reliefgruppen which she started during her years as professor at Konstfack in Stockholm and which was responsible for Design House Stockholm’s Blond service.

Her work is represented in museums in various parts of the world, including Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Kunstindustrimuseet in Copenhagen, MoMA in New York and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. In 1985 she became Sweden’s first professor of glass and ceramic design at Konstfack in Stockholm. She was married to John Melin (1921-1992) who was the other half of the Melin & Österlin duo (M&O) which made advertising history at agencies Svenska Telegrambyrån and Arbman 2.

Signe Persson-Melin in her Malmö workshop.
Signe in her workshop in Malmö, April 2014.

Nowadays Signe Persson Melin lives in the Friluftsstaden district of Malmö which her father, Eric Sigfrid Persson built during the 1940s. She runs her own combined workshop and store “Butik SPM”.

At Design House Stockholm we should like to offer her our warmest congratulations on her birthday and we are looking forward to our next collaboration.

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