Limited-edition Moomin Arabia Journey mug marks Finnair’s centenary | Finnair Germany
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Limited-edition Moomin Arabia Journey mug marks Finnair’s centenary

Look out for the special Moomin Arabia Journey mug for a memento of Finnair’s 100th birthday. We’re giving one to everybody in the Finnair team and making a limited number available to the public.

From royal weddings to historical anniversaries, commemorative mugs timestamp special occasions for many generations to come. Some even become rare collectors’ items. To mark Finnair’s 100th birthday this year, we’ve teamed up with renowned Finnish ceramics-brand Arabia to create a limited-edition Moomin mug.

Both sides of the Moomin Arabia Journey mug are adorned with an illustration from Tove Jansson’s novel, The Exploits of Moominpappa. The illustration depicts a young Moominpappa and his diverse entourage on a daring journey to attend the King’s 100th birthday. The inner surfaces of the mug display a hot air balloon from the same original picture.

The model for the mug is a 0.3-litre design from Kaj Franck's classic Teema series. Each member of the Finnair team will be gifted one and limited quantities will be available for purchase.

“I hope this gift will bring our employees many wonderful moments. Enjoying a hot drink, our employees will always remember being with Finnair during our centenary year”, says Topi Manner, Finnair CEO.

Storybook adventures in real life

The illustrations on the mug were re-created from the originals by Arabia’s own Moomin illustrator, Parvati Pillai. She always starts a ceramic project by searching through a digital database containing thousands of original drawings by Moomin creator Tove Jansson.

“This is my dream job. I get to read Moomin books and draw Moomins for a living,” says Pillai. “One of the biggest challenges of being a Moomin illustrator is redrawing as Tove Jansson would, without losing the essence of the illustration and the storytelling. It’s very important to us that we stay true to the originals as much as possible.”

“What I like about this particular story is how Moominpappa meets so many characters with different personalities. Just like when we travel, we make friends along the way. Some stay and some go. You may even meet your best friend or the love of your life. This is why I felt it was the perfect illustration for the Finnair centenary mug,” she says.

Getting the details right

Once an illustration has been selected, Pillai uses a digital pen to sketch out a new composition that will work on the chosen ceramic. The mug for Finnair is a three-tone design of black, blue and ochre yellow.

“We must always think about the composition of the illustration in terms of how you hold the mug. Sometimes we have to tweak it by a few millimetres or centimetres each side. To get it right takes longer than you would think!” says Pillai.

“Everything has to be straight, even though it’s a curved surface. When we draw the moon, for example, it looks like a perfect circle. But if you see the actual artwork, it's much wider. We must always think about how the surface is going to react with the product,” she says.

Unlike with paper – where illustrations can simply be reprinted if colours turn out wrong – drawing on ceramics requires more trial and error to get things right. Colours may expand or contract during the heating and cooling process.

“We are big on quality control, so we test each ceramic to ensure there are no colour leaks. This way people can enjoy the Finnair mug as it’s meant to be for many years to come,” says Pillai.


The Moomin Arabia Journey mug limited edition will be available from 9 October in the Moomin Arabia webshop. You can also purchase it in Finland at the Stockmann department stores in Helsinki, the Iittala store at Helsinki Airport or Moomin Shop at Helsinki Airport; in Sweden at Iittala & Co. Borås; in Norway at Kitchen Oslo Torggata or the Moomin shop Gardemoen Oslo Airport; and in Denmark at the Illums Bolighus Copenhagen Airport store. A little bit later a limited edition will also be available in Japan at the Iittala stores and other selected retailers from 24 October.

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