Happy 104, Eva Zeisel

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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“Design is pleasure for me,” states Eva Zeisel, the pioneering ceramicist and furniture designer.

This statement, notes Daniel Gross, Creative Director, aNEW.designs in Los Angeles, “perchance is the secret to becoming an icon of design but it may also be the blueprint to living a long life.”

Eva Zeisel who turned 104 on November 13th found that her passion was to be a “maker of useful things.” She has designed thousands of products over her long and productive career “mostly to beautify the surroundings in our homes. Eva’s work graces both the permanent collections of the world’s finest museum and the tables of every day life.”

Eva Zeisel (Eva Striker) was born in Budapest in 1906 to a wealthy, highly educated assimilated Jewish family. Her mother, Laura Polanyi Striker, a historian, was the first woman to graduate from the University of Budapest. At 17, Zeisel entered Kepzomuveszeti Academia (the Budapest Royal Academy of Fine Arts) to become a painter but eventually apprenticed herself to the guild of potters. She was the first woman to learn the craft and, after mastering the basics of ceramic manufacture, applied for work with German ceramic manufacturers.

Zeisel’s work is available today at Eva Zeisel Originals run by her grandson, Adam Zeisel. Her designs are also available at Design within Reach and Crate and Barrel as well as art museum stores and galleries.

“Eva is still actively designing today,” writes Daniel Gross. “She works with a Design Assistant, Olivia Barry, who helps translate her ideas and concepts into reality. Eva personally reviews the progress and designs during development.

Happy 104, Ms. Zeisel.