12 November 2008
Happy 102nd Birthday, Eva Zeisel !
Eva Zeisel, an industrial designer that has shaped and inspired our industry turns 102 on November 13. Eva Zeisel, born in 1906, has been designing with passion and great skill over the last 80+ years. “I can’t stop thinking of making things,” said Eva in a recent interview. Eva is still designing and produced several new products that have come to the market. One-O-One Dinnerware for Royal Stafford is available through Bloomingdale’s and was introduced this year. Nambe has brought Eva’s Eden Dinnerware to market which is graceful and beautiful. Unica, Crate and Barrel and Design Within Reach have several products for sale by Eva Zeisel and expect to release more soon. One of the most exciting things Eva has done over the past few years is work with her grandson, Adam Zeisel to sell several of her products through EvaZeiselOriginals.com. Check out this site for some wonderful candlesticks that are available.
Eva’s life story is amazing. Born in Hungry, she studied art and pottery in her early years. Eva was one of the first to design dinnerware for mass production in 1928 with the Schramberger Majolica Fabrik in Germany. She moved to Russia in 1932 to design dinnerware, bath fixtures and numerous household products. In 1936 while working in Moscow, she was arrested by the Stalin regime and placed in a prison camp for 15 months. She was charged with “plotting against the life of Stalin”. She was finally released due to the influences of important European intellectuals that contacted Stalin. Upon Eva’s release in 1937, she traveled to Vienna then to England. She married Hans Zeisel at this time.
In late 1938, Eva and Hans move to New York. She starts working on numerous designs and began teaching at the Pratt Institute in 1939, forming the industrial ceramics curriculum. Eva’s designs have been sought after over these many years. She has designed dinnerware and products for all the major china companies the world over in her career.
Her work is in the permanent collections of museums around the world including the MOMA and the Metropolitan in NYC and the Victoria and Albert in London. In 2005, Zeisel was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.
I hope we can all aspire to live with Eva’s daily passion and love of design. I know all of us in the design community would like to wish Eva a happy 102nd birthday. May Eva have many more designs and birthdays come. Happy Birthday Eva Zeisel!