Just because she's celebrating her 105th birthday this November doesn't mean she's planning to retire her passion anytime soon.
Beloved industrial designer Eva Zeisel recently partnered with Italian contemporary hand-blown glass lighting company Leucos, marking her first foray in lighting.
A self-declared “maker of useful things,” Zeisel’s lighting will include two pendants, two wall sconces and two table lamps: one large and one small. Set to make its debut this fall, the new pieces show off her signature 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 typical of much of Zeisel’s work. Still in its development stage, the designs are currently in the hands of Leucos’ skilled Italian artisans. Using the time-honored tradition of handcrafted Murano glass, they will transform Zeisel’s initial 2-D sketches into three-dimensional light fixtures. Her soft, sensuous design aesthetic is sure to shine brightly in her new lights. According to Zeisel, “I always like to design at least two shapes together, so that I create a family that relates to each other. These lights are cousins.” In keeping with her purist passion, the lights will be available in a smooth, glossy white surface as well as natural earth tones. The line will include a shade-less table lamp and glowing, rounded pendants.
Leucos has previously collaborated with 16 leading international designers including Matteo Thun, Jorge Pensi, Danilo De Rossi and David Rockwell. At 104 years of age, Zeisel’s contributions to the world of design confirm her legendary status. Throughout her career, she has worked with companies such as General Mills, Rosenthal China, Castleton China, Chantal, Nambe, Mancioli ceramics and Royal Stafford.
A true pioneer, Zeisel developed and taught the first course in ceramic for industry at the Pratt Institute in New York. In 1946, Zeisel had the first one-woman show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2005, Zeisel was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement. Zeisel’s works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and Brooklyn Museum in NY; the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montreal; Bröhan Museum, Germany; and many others. In addition to ceramic, Zeisel has designed in wood, metal, plastic and glass.
The new Eva Zeisel collection for Leucos will be available in incandescent, fluorescent or LED light sources. Suitable for residential and commercial use, the line will officially hit the market in the fall of 2011.