Of the artists I've featured to date so far in this series, Eva Zeisel's work is perhaps the most accessible. You can buy her dinnerware at Crate & Barrel, her furniture at Design Within Reach, rugs at The Rug Company. She has been astoundingly prolific, and even now days away from her 104th birthday, she continues to design. Of course, it's her ceramics she's best known for and those she describes as “happy to use, happy to handle.”
As a young woman Zeisel worked in both Bauhaus Germany and Russia. During this time, she was falsely accused of plotting against Stalin’s life, imprisoned, and put in solitary confinement for sixteen months. Her experiences were the basis of Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler. But Zeisel's own work is characterized a lightness; a playful and sensual modernity. And her answers in interviews are always youthful and poetic, just like her work.
Eva Zeisel Originals
Eva Zeisel house tour in NYSD
Eva Zeisel in New York Magazine
TED Video: Eva Zeisel on the playful search for beauty
Image credits: Eva Zeisel by Okamoto Hisashi from Faces of New York, 1999-2002 / Eva Zeisel collection from Crate & Barrel