Saturday, December 31, 2011

Inspiring Design Legend/ Eva Zeisel

I had just been collecting images on Eva’s work to write a post about her inspiring design and influence on American ceramics when I heard the news that last week we lost Eva at the truly amazing age of 105. The Design world has certainly lost a legend, Born In Budapest in 1906, She studied at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts there. She lived in Germany and Russia where she was actually jailed due to a Stalin purge where she experienced horrific conditions, her reason for imprisonment never really known even to her, it seems narrowly escaping execution she went to England in 1938 and married before moving finally to NYC in 1939 where she created the department of Ceramic Arts at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she taught until 1952.

She has been credited for merging the worlds of the fine arts with mass merchandise and industrial design and introducing modernism into middleclass American homes, Her designs look like sensual modern sculptures but have a warmth and everyday quality that makes you just want to reach out and use them, She said herself: "We feel differently, more intimately, about dishes than we do about shoes or chairs or forks. If we unexpectedly come upon a chair like we used when we were children we say, 'We had a chair like that at home.' But if we come upon dishes like we used on the dinner table with our parents, we will surely exclaim: 'Look! Our dishes!” Her work is so instantly recognizable with their rounded curves, arches, teardrops and wave motifs.

Over the years she designed for well known ceramic and glass companies Hall China, Red Wing Pottery, Castleton China, Norleans Meito (Japan), Rosenthal, Royal Stafford, Noritake and Western Stoneware and more recent collaborations with Klein Reid, Chantal, Design Within Reach and The Rug Company.

Here are a smattering of her huge library of design, I cannot even touch the surface of her massive contribution to modern design, I am so sorry I never got to meet her, RIP Eva.


  1. Thanks Michele, I know you would appreciate it! Happy New Year! XX M.

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