12 November 2009

Eva Zeisel - Happy 103 Birthday!!

The search for the fountain of youth has been going on for ages, it seems Eva Zeisel who turn 103 on November 13 has found it. If one was to ask Eva her secret, I am sure she would answer, Design, Passion, Family and Friends. Eva was born in 1906 in Hungry and studied art and pottery in her early years. She has helped shape the world we live in as an industrial designer. “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.

I have long admired Eva's designs, her passion and zest for life. Her work is naturalist and futurist. Eva has been quoted as saying she is always looking for the "playful search for beauty" in her designs. I believe she has been very successful in this quest.

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.

In 1946, Eva Zeisel had the first one women show at MOMA. Her work can be found in every major museum collection around the world from MOMA and the Metropolitan in NYC to the Victoria and Albert in London.

In 2005, Zeisel was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Eva Zeisel: Distinguished By Design from Jeremy Bales on Vimeo.

(A film from Eva Zeisel's 102nd Birthday party and her working with her Design Assistant, Olivia Barry)

Eva’s work is available today at Eva Zeisel Originals run by her grandson, Adam Zeisel. Her designs are also available at such major outlets like Design within Reach and Crate and Barrel along with many art museum stores and galleries. Eva is still actively designing today. She works with a Design Assistant, Olivia Barry, who helps translate her ideas and Eva personally reviews the progress and designs during development. Eva has authored a book, Eva Zeisel on Design.

We can all learn from Eva Zeisel. Design with passion. Live life with passion. Love your family and friends. The fountain of youth has been found in each of Eva's designs. Happy Birthday Mrs. Zeisel!!!

1 comment:

PMonteiro said...

wow, nice work! designers, get inspired!!! www.delightfull.eu
happy new year!