Eva Zeisel was continually intrigued by what she called her "playful search for beauty" – an idea she continued to explore until December 30, 2011, when she passed away at age 105. Zeisel was world renowned for her ceramics, and when she was in her early 80s, she started designing tables. The medium may have changed, but her Coffee Table (1993) is still very Zeisel with its whimsical lines and ornamental motifs. A person of delightfully defiant spirit, Zeisel was just beginning her career when she declared war on the fashionable avant-garde. "I didn't accept the purism of modern design," she said. "In my definition, if it gave beauty to the eye, it was beauty." Even when MoMA was an advocate of straight-lined Bauhaus design, Zeisel gave them curved feminine forms. The result of such an approach is a design that's truly timeless. "I always live life in the present," said Zeisel. "Eternity is only in the present." In 2005, Eva Zeisel was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. Made in Canada.
Solid ash with white lacquer; 0.5" tempered glass with polished flat edge.
Eva Zeisel was continually intrigued by what she called her "playful search for beauty." A person of delightfully defiant spirit, the designer was just beginning her career when she declared war on the fashionable avant-garde. "I didn't accept the purism of modern design," she said. "In my definition, if it gave beauty to the eye, it was beauty."
Zeisel was born Eva Striker in Budapest in 1906. Her father ran a textile factory and her mother was an outspoken feminist and one of the first women to earn a doctorate at the University of Budapest. It was through her mother's urging that Zeisel switched from studying painting at the Budapest Royal Academy of Fine Arts to pursue the more practical career of ceramist. She apprenticed herself to a potter at a porcelain factory, an unusual path for an educated woman at that time. Zeisel persisted, graduated to journeyman status and became the first woman admitted to the local pottery guild. It was during this time that her work took on the sensuous, flowing and biomorphic forms that would continue throughout her career. Read more >