Arne Tjomsland was Norway’s leading designer of small scaled figures in the 1950s and ‘60s, a self-taught creator originally working with advertisement and toy design. He gave shape to animals from the Nordic fauna, as well as Inuits and Vikings, in wood and whalebone. His first figure was a polar bear made from teak. At first, Tjomsland made all the figures himself, but when demand grew, furniture manufacturer Hiorth & Østlyngen took over some of the production. He got the inspiration for his figures from reading Polar literature as a child and the time spent with his father – preparatory Michael Tjomsland – at the Zoological Museum in Oslo. His artistic style is characterized by simplified organic shapes and soft but defined lines.
In 1954, Tjomsland was invited to attend the exhibition Design in Scandinavia, which was touring the United States and Canada from 1954 to 1957. He received a Gold medal for his creations in the 1957 Deutsche Handwerksmesse in Munich and a Silver medal in the 1960 Triennale di Milano.
In 1957, Arne Tjomsland became the artistic director of Goodwill Produkter, an organization that gave disabled people a chance to work.
The Isbjørn figure is a physical pictogram resulting in a beautiful interpretation of the polar bear. It was designed in 1955 and awarded with a gold medal only two years later at the Deutsche Handwerksmesse in Munich. Arne Tjomsland got the inspiration from reading Polar literature as a child and the time he spent with his father, Preparator Michael Tjomsland at the Zoological Museum in Oslo.
Designed in 1955