Bitter Grounds Magazine

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Fantastic Finland’s 2021 stamps

Written by catpaw

May 19, 2021

I waited to post Finland’s 2021 stamps because I was secretly hoping a few Moomins would appear. So far, not one in site. Guess I’ll have to write a separate article on Finland’s memorable Moomins and be content with the set Posti issued last year. Oh, and if you’ve never encountered Tove Jansson’s magnificent Moomins, this is what they look like:

Moomins having a bit of fun

Stamp collecting needs a patron saint and I think the Hemulens from the Moomin world should be nominated. Hemulens are obsessive stamp collectors who become annoyed when disturbed. Sound familiar? Should we start a petition? 
Hemulen: get to know the lovable creatures of Moominvalley

Bless my tail! Whatever next! (Moominpapa in Fin Famiily Moomintroll)

But I digress. Finland offers up a great hunting ground for thematic collectors – especially if they enjoy whimsy. It took me forever to settle down to write this article because of the treasure trove of great sites I found while researching Finnish philately. Over the next few weeks, I’ll chase down more information designers, especially the numerous awards they’ve won. 

Discussing a few of Finland’s 2021 stamps

There are a couple of stamps I want to draw your attention to. The first is the 2021 Europa FDC  It’s a full colour, dramatic extravaganza. Petteri Mattila managed to incorporate all elements of this year’s theme into one cover.  

Europa: Endangered Animals FDC Finland's 2021 stamps

Europa: Endangered Animals FDC – Petteri Mattila designer

Mattila managed to squeeze all the habitats onto one rectangle without sacrificing details.  I’ve seen a lot of First Day Covers, but this one is a real attention grabber. 

The second set represents a vastly different design appeal. It’s strength is it’s simplicity and use of white space. The stamps, Glass Art, showcased The  Finnish Post Office’s 5th annual Art Prize winner. The competition’s purpose is “to raise the status of stamps and art and increase people’s appreciation of them.” This year’s winner was glass artist, Alma Jantunen. She specialises in creating plant life as glass art. Her work is featured on two stamps showing titled Fruit Bottles and Cactus Pigga, due out in the fall. 

People often ask how long it takes. A glass vessel can be made in a minute, but learning how to make it takes years. I throw away pieces that aren’t good enough; sometimes everything breaks. It takes a lot of work to obtain high quality where the design turns out well.
Discover Alma Jantunen, artisan Glassblower in Nuutajärvi – Homo Faber Guide

If you have access to Netflix, check to see if your country is streaming the Canadian show Blown Away. It’s a glassblowing competition currently showing it’s second season.   

Quick note on cancels

I’m not happy with the quality of the cancels I’ve used in this article. Although Finland’s post office is first rate in supplying images, they don’t offer much in the way of cancels, so I’ve kind of muddled along with clipping them from FDCs. My apologies to cancel hounds, I’ll try to remedy that as soon as possible.

Now onto the Finland’s 2021 stamp offerings. Enjoy Finland, I certainly did. 


Finland’s 2021 stamps for January

Finnish Journalists’ Association 100 years

Finnish Journalists' Association 100 years cancel

Finnish Journalists' Association 100 years single stamp with a large J  Finnish Journalists' Association 100 years booklet of stamps

Finnish Journalists' Association 100 years FDC

1 stamp, sheet of 10, FDC, cancel

Designer: Ilkka Kärkkäinen
Kärkkäinen designed last year’s cheeky “You are what you read stamps” (see below). He was Finland’s Graphic Designer of the Year in 2003. Helsinki Design Week featured him in their March 2021 article.

Literacy is a right set of 4 stamps from 2020

Release date: January 20, 2021


Greeting flowers – traditional Finnish perennial ornamental plants

Greeting flowers - traditional Finnish perennial ornamental plants cancel

Greeting flowers - traditional Finnish perennial ornamental plants stamp two purple flower Greeting flowers - traditional Finnish perennial ornamental plants Lilly

Greeting flowers - traditional Finnish perennial ornamental plants packet of two stamps  Greeting flowers - traditional Finnish perennial ornamental plants FDC

2 stamps, FDC, cancel, booklet of two

Designer: Oona Himanen
Previous stamp designs include 2020 Spring Rhyme / Migratory birds, 2019 Kalla lilly plant  

Release date:  January 20, 2021


Flower garden

Flower garden cancel

Flower garden stamps Flower garden

Flower garden booklet of 10stamps Flower garden FDC

2 stamps, sheet of 10, FDC, cancel

Designer: Paula Salviander
Previous designs include 2020 Wildflowers and Christmas, 2019 Winter Wonders and Frosty Day, 2016 Red House
Salviander’s 2020 wildflowers issues won 3rd place in Finland’s “Most Beautiful Stamp of 2020” competition.

2020 Wildflowers

2020 Wildflowers by Paula Salviander

Release date:  January 20, 2021


Taking care of …

Lets take care cancel

Riku OunaslehtoLet's take care Let's take care FDC   

6 stamps, sheet of 6, FDC, cancel

Designer: Riku Ounaslehto

“The stamp year begins with Valentine’s Day postmarks showing fairy tale-like animals and colourful patterns formed by flowers” Posti press release

Release date:  January 20, 2021


Finland’s 2021 stamps for April

Lotta Svärd – 100 years of social responsibility

Lotta Svärd FDC cancel

Lotta Svärd 100 years stamp two Lotta Svärd 100 years stamp one

Lotta Svärd 100 years FDC Lotta Svärd 100 years booklet of stamps

2 stamps, booklet of 10, FDC, cancel

Designer: Klaus Welp
The photographs in the two stamps were picked from the Lotta Museum’s extensive photographic collection that contains over 25,000 photos. 

Release date: April 28, 2021



Holiday cancel

Holiday Two champagne glasses stamp

  Holiday Two champagne glasses stamp FDC Holiday Two champagne glasses stamp sheet  

1 stamp, sheet of 10, FDC, cancel

Designer: Klaus Welp
Welp has designed over 100 stamps for the Finnish Post Office. A few my favourite designs include the 2020’s Europa Ancient Postal Routes, Two Hearts, 2018 Finnish Flavours  and 2015 Moomins 

At the same time, the stamp celebrates Klaus Welp’s extensive career as a stamp designer, as it is already one hundred stamps designed by Welp. Known as a versatile graphic designer and photographer, Welp’s stamps have seen many different topics on a wide scale.

“My favourites include Tove Jansson’s 100th birthday marks, whose work process I experienced particularly strongly. Different environmental themes have also been close to my heart,” Welp says.

Klaus Welp has designed e.g. The most beautiful Wilderness Bridge postage stamp voted  the most beautiful in Finland, which also came second in the Europe-wide competition for EUROPA stamps in 2018.
Posti News release: April stamps celebrate lottery and postcard  21.1.21

Release date: April 28, 2021


Postcard 150 years

Postcard 150 years cancel

  Postcard 150 years showing old postcard Postcard 150 years of a fairy? Postcard 150 years with young person and Finnish flag Postcard 150 years with young boy Postcard 150 years village scene Postcard 150 years two young women making heart shape with hands

  Postcard 150 years FDC with all stamps on it Postcard 150 years booklet of Postcard 150 years stamps

 6 stamps, sheet of 6, FDC, cancel

Designers: Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi
Rumpu and Lakaniemi have designed a number of stamps together, including the winner of the “Most Beautiful Stamp of 2013” for their Europa: Mail Delivery Vehicles. They also designed the 2007’s Moomin series. You can never have too many Moomins in your life. 

Release date: April 28, 2021


Europa: Endangered Animals
3rd in series titled Endangered Animals

Europa Finland 2021 Endangered species Kingfisher

Europa: Endangered Animals king fisher bird Europa: Endangered Animals moth Europa: Endangered Animals Flying squirrel     

Europa: Endangered Animals FDC

3 stamps, FDC, cancel

Finland chose the theme “flying or gliding endangered animals and insects”

  • Kingfisher
  • Large Pollo Butterfly
  • Flying Squirrel

Designer: Petteri Mattila
Mattila also designed the previous 2 issues in this series in 2018 and 2016. 

Release date: April 28, 2021

You can see all of 2021’s Europa stamps here


Finland’s 2021 stamps for September

Glass Blowing

Glass art: Alma Janntte Glass art: Alma Janntte Glass art: Alma Janntte

2 stamps, booklet of 10

  • Fruit Bottles
  • Cactus Pigga

Glass art: Alma Janntte
The Finnish Post Office awarded the 2021 art prize to glass blower Alma Jantte, who’s work is featured on these two stamps.
Designer: Paula Salviander

Release date: September 8, 2021


Autumn kajo 

Autumn kajo stamps

5 stamps on a miniature sheet

Photographer: Jukka Risikko
All photos were taken in South Ostrobothnia around the town Lapua.

If you like Risikko’s work, check out his Instagram page and his website, Jukka Risikko Photography – Jukka Risikko Photography ( The video below is a brief look at his nature photography:

Release date: September 8, 2021


Green tips for everyday living

6 stamps, booklet of 6

Designer: Anssi Kähärä with Sari Laine from Sitra (Sustainable lifestyle choices have become part of everyday life – Sitra)

Release date: September 8, 2021


Classic paintings from Finland 1884 to 1930

Ellen Thesleffin Kaiku (1891) Albert Edelfelt's Playing Boys on the Beach (1884)

Akseli Gallen-Kallela Skaters on Kalela Beach (1896) Helene Schjerfbeck's Convalescent (1888)

Eero Järnefelt's Landscape from Koli (1930) Juho Rissanen's Avanno's Onkijat (1900)

Hugo Simberg's Sheep Girl (1913)  Ferdinand von Wright's Fighting Metsos (1886)

  1. Ellen Thesleffin Kaiku (1891)
  2. Albert Edelfelt’s Playing Boys on the Beach (1884)
  3. Akseli Gallen-Kallela Skaters on Kalela Beach (1896)
  4. Helene Schjerfbeck’s Convalescent (1888)
  5. Eero Järnefelt’s Landscape from Koli (1930)
  6. Juho Rissanen’s Avanno’s Onkijat (1900)
  7. Hugo Simberg’s Sheep Girl (1913) 
  8. Ferdinand von Wright’s Fighting Metsos (1886)

 Järnefelt’s artwork should resonate with admirers’ of the Canadian Group of 7 painters. His work shares the same rugged appeal that captures northern landscapes so well. If you are unfamiliar with trees and northern climates take a look at en –, where the painting was done. Canadians should feel right at home with the landscape. Wikipedia has a pretty good write up of the artist: Eero Järnefelt – Wikipedia.

Designer: Ilkka Kärkkäinen

Release date: September 8, 2021


Christmas 2021

Red stopper Bird Northern Lights     Christmas Lights

3 stamps

  • Red stopper bird
  • Northern lights
  • Christmas Lights

Designer: Klaus Welp

Release date: November 3, 2021


First Snow

First snow - snowman with carrot nose and bird perched on nose First Snow with a cartoon dog catching snowflakes on its tongue

2 stamps, sheets of 10

Designer: Matti Pikkujämsä

Release date: November 3, 2021

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If you like Finland’s stamps, you might enjoy Faroe Islands as well:

Stamps by country 2021


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