Olav Joa was born in 1940 in Sola, a seaside resort in Rogaland County, Norway. After majoring in ceramics in 1959-1962 at The School of Arts and Crafts in Bergen, he started in 1965 as a designer at Polaris Fabrikker A/S, established in 1936 in Sandnes, and worked there until 1983, when he was hired away by Figgjo.
This handsome, heavy quality bowl is from Joa's "Steel Art" Series, one of the pieces he designed for Polaris between 1972 to 1974. It's cast steel with a carved geometric pattern; the raised surfaces are pebbly textured, as is the well of the bowl, while the depressions surrounding them are rough matte black. Great brutalist design!
The underside of the bowl has textured black areas swirled over the steel color. The 3/4 inch high foot has a plain steel rim and is covered with green felt. The center is cut out in a circle and bears a black surface with engraved letters and numbers: CAST STAINLESS STEEL 18-8 NORWAY DESIGN (Grade 18-8 steel is made of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, which is added to about 0.8% carbon and roughly 50% iron.) It's signed OLAV Joa--a facsimile of his signature in script.
The bowl is 9 1/2 inches in diameter, stands 1 1/2 inches high and weighs 3 1/2 pounds. It is in superb condition, with the green felt showing almost no wear and just a few small areas of rust on the carved rim, which we chose to leave as is. It's a wonderful piece of MCM Scandinavian metalware.