Teddy bear artist creates Valentine's Day stamps


Teddies, snowmen and ancient castles for the first Finnish postage stamps of the year

Itella Posti Oy will be starting 2014 with the release of three Finnish postage stamp publications on Monday 20 January, with a total of 13 new 1st class stamps. The images on the stamps include teddy bears, snowmen and ancient Finnish castles.

Teddy bears convey peace and love 

This year's Valentine's Day stamps depicting furry teddy bears convey a message of friendship and remembrance of others. The Bear Friends stamp series is drawn by a new face to the world of stamps from Kemi, Henna Takkinen, an artist who has specialized in teddy bears. 

Born in 1969, Henna Takkinen is influenced by naivism and story illustration and has combined these elements into her own unique form of teddy bear art. In the early 2000s she completed her Master's thesis on teddy bears, whose history dates back to ancient bear worship and up to the modern soft commercial teddy. 

"Teddy bears have taken me on an endless adventure, everything is possible in their world. I want to share through art a teddy bear world of universal peace and love. Through stamps that message of caring and friendship can be shared with the world," says Henna Takkinen, describing her artistic vision. 

The Bear Friends stamp sheet has six 1st class stamps and four teddy bear stickers. Graphic designer Markku Kyröläinen, from Kemi, is responsible for the layout of the publication.

Winter greetings from snowmen

The award-winning Finnish illustrator Janne Harju has designed a stamp depicting two snowmen, which is well suited for a variety of winter greetings. The 1st class Snowmen postage stamp will be published in a handy 10-piece sticker sheet.  On the back side of the sheet, Janne Harju has brought the snowman theme to life with an illustrated snowman in a bar code. 

This is how Janne Harju himself describes the feeling of the stamp, "The snowman and boy have spent a winter's day on the sledging hill and also made snow lanterns. In the dark of night slowly floating snowflakes sparkle in the air. The crisp snow frost bites the snowmen's cheeks, but there is warmth in the air as they stop to admire the clear winter evening sky for the first stars."

Ancient Finnish castles get their own stamps

Also to be released in January is the Ancient Castles stamp booklet by Erik Bruun, with six 1st class stamps depicting Suomenlinna, as well as Häme, Raseborg, Kastelholm, Olavinlinna and Turku castles. Legendary Finnish designer Erik Bruun, known for his nature and advertising posters, has designed well over 50 postage stamps during his career, the first of which appeared in the mid-1980s. Read more.

Further information

Itella Posti Oy

Itella Communications

Image material for the media 

Technical data of Finnish stamps released on January 4, 2014 (PDF)

All stamps available for sale are featured in Posti's online shop.