What do you expect to be doing when you are 104 years old?
Few people make it to that age must less use the time to accomplish what Eva Zeisel has. She declares herself a “maker of useful things.” Her forms are often abstractions of the natural world and human relationships. Currently, she continues to design furniture as well as glass and ceramic objects, like her most recent 101 design and her Century dishware at crate and barrel. As an artist and a woman I find her life and history so inspiring.
A pioneer in the ceramic world, she studied painting at the Budapest Royal Academy, desiring to pursue a more practical profession she apprenticed herself with a guild of potters. She built a career with ceramic manufactures in Germany and served as the artistic director in the Soviet ceramics industry before being imprisoned as a political prisoner under Stalin. Moving to the US to escape Nazi rule in Austria, Zeizel further developed her craft and taught one of the first courses on industrial design at Pratt University. She also was granted the first one woman show at the Museum of Modern Art.
What a legacy she has built! I love this picture of her, that you can see her hands so clearly. Hands that display such a story of making, creating, building, age, grace, and movement. May my hands be used as beautifully as hers.