Craftsperson, ceramist and designer Signe Persson-Melin has had one of the longest careers in Swedish design history. She was just a teenager when she decided to become a potter in the early 1940s. Just a few years later, while going to the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack), Svenskt Tenn decided to purchase her teapots and mugs.
Signe Persson-Melin worked with pewter for the first time in the beginning of the 2000s. For Svenskt Tenn’s 80-year anniversary in 2004 she made a collection in honour of Estrid Ericson. Signe was one of ten female designers invited to participate in the “Nytt Svenskt Tenn” or New Svenskt Tenn anniversary project. Her contribution was a teapot, a cream pitcher, thin bone china mugs and a coaster in pewter. She soon came to realise how pewter is related to clay. This happened while witnessing how the soft, embossed Myrtle pattern on her dinner service bearing the same name, could be transferred directly to the coaster’s pliable pewter.
Thanks to Svenskt Tenn, Signe Persson-Melin also discovered that she is capable of designing prints. Although she had carved, marked and stamped her ceramic objects with designs throughout the years, she says that she lost her courage when the Nytt Svenskt Tenn project’s artistic leader wanted her to design a Myrtle print to decorate plates.
“I tried to explain that print design was what I was least capable of, but the people at Svenskt Tenn were very stubborn and they got their way. I’m happy about that today.”
The embossed Myrten pattern decorates several items in Svenskt Tenn’s range.