The Story and Work of a Useful Object Maker
Industrial design masters, like Eva Zeisel, are very special. They are people whose work has transcended the design of everyday objects to things of beauty.
They are masters. This blog post will focus primarily on her mastery of tableware designs.
Industrial Designed Objects
Before I go any further I want to make a crucial distinction. It is the way that industrial design differs from crafts artisanship.
ID objects are meant to be machine reproduced in quantity. Yet a prototype may start out as a hand made one of a kind.
But on the other hand, crafts are hand made. This is from start to finish.
If a craft object is reproduced, it is done so by hand. In addition, it may even stay one of a kind.
About Eva Zeisel
The details of Eva Zeisel’s life fascinate me. She spent a short time in jail for political protest. This did not dampen her enthusiasm for life. She lived to be 105. Her career included teaching Industrial design at Pratt Institute in New York. As a matter of fact, I lived near Pratt and took a course there. For an in-depth biography, read below and go to the sources and resources section of this post.
Eva Zeisel Colorful Teapot Designs
The picture above of the nested fish bowls may be less typical of her work than her tableware designs. Here is one that I love.
Eva Zeisel’s work was well known for the teardrop shape design. Below are samples.
Museums, Exhibitions and Colllections
Over the years Eva’s design vocabulary changed. I would be remiss not to include other pieces I like very much. They are in the tea set category. Notable are shows of her work in museums all over the country, as well. They have included:
Denver Art Museum, Serious Play 2019
Eva Zeisel Collection at the International Museum of Dinnerware Design, Ann Arbor Michigan
Eva Zeisel Collection pieces at RISD
Future posts in the Industrial Design Masters series may include RUSSELL WRIGHT, DOROTHY, MACKENZIE-CHILDS, PORTER, and the TARGET TEAPOT DESIGNER/ARCHITECT