BEHIND THE DESIGN
The Eva Zeisel Collection
The only lighting designs from the late ceramicist, with Zeisel's signature style and inspired by soft, organic forms.
> SHOP EVA ZEISEL COLLECTION
As a self-declared "maker of useful things," celebrated ceramicist and American icon Eva Zeisel has works in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the British Museum and many others. In 2011, she embarked on one of her last projects before her death in January 2012 at age 105-a collection with Leucos to bring her signature designs to lighting.
The Spring and Summer pieces showcase Zeisel's hallmark style and are inspired by organic forms with soft curves, like those of the human body. The lights first came to life as cutout models, a free-hand technique found in much of Zeisel's work. The designs then moved to the hands of the skilled Italian artisans from Leucos, who turned to the time-honored tradition of handcrafted Murano glass to transform Zeisel's initial 2-D sketches into 3-dimensional lighting fixtures.
Her glass lamps demonstrate an affection for pairs, as was often the case with her clay work. "I like to create a family that relates to each other. These lights are cousins," she said. The Spring collection features fluid, anthropomorphic lines, long and lean as a pendant fixture, table lamp or wall sconce. The Summer collection is rounder and wider. Both collections are made from handblown Murano glass in glossy white or honey-simple colors to keep in line with Zeisel's purist passion.
Noted as one of the most talented designers of the 20th century, Eva Zeisel was also arguable one of the most fascinating people, enduring imprisonment in the Soviet Union and surviving Nazi-occupied Austria. She developed and taught the first course in ceramic for industry at the Pratt Institute in New York; she had the first one-woman show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; and in 2005 she was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement.