Eva Zeisel (1906 – 2011) Hungarian designer and ceramicist

Advertisements
Eva Zeisel ceramic tea set
Eva Zeisel ceramic tea set

Eva Zeisel (1906 – 2011) was a Hungarian designer and ceramicist. She was born in Budapest. She was professionally active in Germany, Russia, Austria, and the USA. She settled in the United States in 1938.

She designed ceramics for many different clients and is best known for her dinnerware, including Stratoware, designed for Sears and Roebuck in 1942. She created the offbeat and humorous Town and Country Line for the Company Red Wing.

Over the course of her career,she designed over 100,000 objects.

Education

Between 1923-24, Zeisal studied painting at Képzömüvészeti Akadémia (Academy of Art), in Budapest, under Vasari. She subsequently apprenticed in pottery.

Advertisements

Biography

Between 1927-32, she worked first for the Kispest earthenware factory in Budapest, and various ceramics factories in Germany, including a ceramics designer at Schramberg Majolika Fabrik and the Carsten ceramics factory. She was familiar with Werkbund and Bauhaus forms. 

In 1932, she went to the Soviet Union, where she worked in various ceramics factories, including a sanitary ceramics plant and at the Lomonosov porcelain factory in St. Petersburg under Nikolai Suetin. Suetin applied motifs to some of her forms. 

From 1934, she worked for the Deulevo ceramics factory in Moscow. She became the artistic director Central Administration of the Glass and China Industry of the USSR, Moscow. During the Stalin Purges, she was imprisoned between 1936-37. She was released and deported via Vienna and Britain and settled in the USA.

Between 1939-53 she taught at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Between 1959 and 1960, at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. During this time, she was also designing for clients.

Eva Zeisel - Cloverware Serving Set (c1947) MOMA
Eva Zeisel – Cloverware Serving Set (c1947) MOMA

Her ceramic designs of the 1940s reflected the organic furniture of the time. Her classic 1942-45 Museum White dinnerware, designed in collaboration with the New York Museum of Modern Art, was produced by Castleton China, New Castle, Pennsylvania. It emulated the Functionalist ceramics made by major factories in Europe, especially those in Arzberg and Berlin. 

Eva Zeisel Creamer c. 1946 MOMA
Eva Zeisel Creamer c. 1946 MOMA

She designed the 1950 knock-down chair with a zippered plastic cover for Richards-Morgenthau, wooden pieces for Salisbury Artisans from 1951 and 1952 dinnerware for Hall China. 

In 1996 and 1997, select pieces from Zeisel’s Town and Country Line were reissued with her permission by World of ceramics of Morganton, North Carolina. Another manufacturer reissued other Town and Country pieces for sale through the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Exhibitions

Museum White china subject of 1946 ‘Modern China by Eva Zeisel’ exhibition, New York Museum of Modern Art. Work included in the 1991 USA ‘Design 1935-1965: What Modern Was travelling exhibition. Work was the subject of the 1984 ‘Eva Zeisel: Designer for Industry’ travelling exhibition organized by Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Montreal. Received 1983 Senior Fellowship National Endowment for the Arts. 

Eva Zeisel ceramic teapots
Eva Zeisel ceramic teapots

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

Co. Staff, Martingale and, ed. 20th Century Dinnerware. Collector’s Compass Ser., 2001. https://doi.org/10.1604/9781564773777.

Kovel, R. M., & Kovel, T. H. (2007). Kovels’ American collectibles 1900-2000. Random House.

More Ceramics Shopping

You may also be interested in

More on Ceramics Design

  • Arzberg Porcelain – prestigious German design

    Arzberg Porcelain – prestigious German design

    Arzberg is regarded as one of the most prestigious porcelain design houses in the world. The definition of good design. Arzberg combines aesthetics, functionality, and durability.Read More →

  • Fujina – Japanese Folk Pottery

    Fujina – Japanese Folk Pottery

    Fujina pottery is made at Matsue, Shimane. 19th-century products include bluish-green tea bowls and white, yellow, or bluish-green domestic pottery. Later urban work promotes folk art.Read More →

  • Eureka Pottery – American Ceramics manufacturer

    Eureka Pottery – American Ceramics manufacturer

    The Eureka Pottery was the last commercial pottery constructed during the historic three decades during which potteries were established in Trenton. The company made the most beautiful majolica in Trenton. It was established in 1883 by Leon Weil, who Noah and Charles Boch succeeded. It was closed in 1887 due to fire, the constant enemy of potteries.Read More →

  • Moorcroft British (ca. 1913) art pottery manufacturer

    Moorcroft British (ca. 1913) art pottery manufacturer

    William Moorcroft started Moorcroft, a British art pottery manufacturer, in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1913.Read More →

  • Otto Lindig (1895 – 1966) German Ceramicist

    Otto Lindig (1895 – 1966) German Ceramicist

    He was an enthusiastic supporter of the pottery workshop at the Bauhaus, contending that it should be included in the school’s curriculum. When it was separated into design and production workshops, Lindig supervised the latter, combining hand work and mass production approaches.Read More →

  • Trude Petri-Rabin (1906 – 1989) German Ceramicist

    Trude Petri-Rabin (1906 – 1989) German Ceramicist

    From 1927 she studied porcelain at Verinigdten Staatsshulen für freie und angewandte Kunst (United State Schools for Free and Applied Arts), Berlin, and Staatliche Porzellan-Manufakture, Berlin (Royal Porcelain Factory, Berlin).Read More →

  • Grand Feu Art Pottery – California

    Grand Feu Art Pottery – California

    Grand Feu Art Pottery, was founded in California by Cornelius Brauckman. Its output was of high quality and aesthetically distinctive. Generically, grand feu is ceramic ware fired at 2500°F (1400°C), maturing its body and glaze simultaneously. Grand feu is both porcelain and gres, and Grand Feu Art Pottery specialises in the latter.Read More →

  • Blue-dash charger – Design Object

    Blue-dash charger – Design Object

    Blue-dash charger is a large circular earthenware dish made in England (especially Bristol and Lambeth) in the late 17th century and early 18th. The name derives from the dashes of blue around the rims.Read More →

  • Thrown Pottery and the pottery wheel

    Thrown Pottery and the pottery wheel

    A leading development in the world of craft and design that took some time toRead More →

  • Gien Pottery Factory – Traditional Earthenwares

    Gien Pottery Factory – Traditional Earthenwares

    Gien Pottery. This company is often known simply as Gien Pottery, after its location in thatRead More →

  • Mintons – British Ceramics Firm

    Mintons – British Ceramics Firm

    Thomas Minton bought a pottery in Stoke-on-Trent in 1793 and, in 1796, began production of inexpensive blue transfer-printed earthenware. His son Herbert Minton became director in 1836, expanded the range of wares, and hired artists. Read More →

  • Lucien Levy Dhurmer (1865 – 1953) a French Ceramicist

    Lucien Levy Dhurmer (1865 – 1953) a French Ceramicist

    Levy-Dhurmer may have been responsible for the rediscovery of the metallic lustre glaze technique used in Middle Eastern ceramics from the 9th century and in Hispano-Moresque pottery of the 15th century. However, the sheen on pieces by Massier and Levy-Dhunner has not lasted. He used primarily light-coloured earthenware with gold highlights and sombre-glazed stoneware. Read More →

  • Dorodango Japanese polished dirt balls

    Dorodango Japanese polished dirt balls

    The hand-rolling of this soil-based mixture can be relaxing and comfortable to do. Dorodango is not without its difficulties and needs a high degree of skill, patience and concentration. Given the fragility and inclination of the dorodango to break, the perfectly formed ball is elusive. It can also be a challenging process to achieve the perfect shine.Read More →

  • Charles John Noke (1858 – 1941) British ceramicist

    Charles John Noke (1858 – 1941) British ceramicist

    He modelled vases (including Columbis and Diana) and figures from 1893 to 1898. (including Holbein and Rembrandt vases). With Cuthbert Bailey and John Slater, he experimented with the reproduction of Sung, Ming, and early Ch’ing dynasty blood-red rouge flambé and sang-de-boeuf glazes from the late 1890s to the early 1900sRead More →

  • Marblehead Pottery (1904 – 1936) an American Pottery

    Marblehead Pottery (1904 – 1936) an American Pottery

    Herbert J. Hall founded the Marblehead Pottery in 1904 as one of several “handcraft shops” that offered occupational therapy to “nervously worn outpatients.” The shops specialised in hand-weaving, woodcarving, and metalwork, with pottery being the most popular.Read More →

  • Grethe Meyer (1918 – 2008) Danish architect, & designer of furniture & glassware

    Grethe Meyer (1918 – 2008) Danish architect, & designer of furniture & glassware

    She worked on the editorial staff of The Building Manual from 1944 to 1955. She was a crucial figure in Borge Mogensen’s research on the standardisation of consumer product sizes, and she collaborated with him frequently. They created the Boligens Byggeskabe (BB) and resund cabinet-storage systems in 1957.Read More →

  • Nora Gulbrandsen (1894 – 1978) Norwegian Designer

    Nora Gulbrandsen (1894 – 1978) Norwegian Designer

    She was born to Aksel Julius Hanssen and Anna Sofie Lund in Kristiania (now Oslo), Norway. From 1917 until 1922, she was married to wholesaler Carl Ziegler Gulbrandsen (1892–1976). She married Otto Delphin Amundsen, an engineer and genealogist, in 1943.Read More →

  • Tea and coffee set by Marguerite Friedlander

    Tea and coffee set by Marguerite Friedlander

    She designed the Hallesche Form tea and coffee set for KPM in 1930, which was a huge commercial success, especially with Trude Petri’s gold rings (1931) decor.Read More →

  • Josiah Wedgwood British Ceramics Manufacturer

    Josiah Wedgwood British Ceramics Manufacturer

    He started by producing basic tableware, but by 1759, he had expanded to include beautiful items like classical vases and portrait busts. He was one of the first producers to hire artists to create product designs.Read More →

  • Ernest Chaplet (1835 – 1909) French ceramicist and studio potter

    Ernest Chaplet (1835 – 1909) French ceramicist and studio potter

    Ernest Chaplet (1835 – 1909) was a French ceramicist, an early studio potter’ who mastered slip decoration, rediscovered stoneware, and conducted copper-red studies. From 1882 to 1885, he was the director of Charles Haviland’s workshop to study decorative processes, where he collaborated with artists such as Paul Gauguin. He eventually moved to Choisy-le-Roi, where he focused on porcelain glaze studies.Read More →

Anders B. Liljefors Swedish Ceramicist – Encyclopedia of Design

Anders Liljefors was a Swedish ceramicist. He initially concerned himself with household ware, discovered a new method of casting ceramics in a sand mould, and worked feverishly to extract new and unexpected effects from this material during the later years of his life. Between 1942 and 1943 he studied sculpture and painting, Grünewalds måiarskola, Stockholm.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.