sarcastic darling (gfrancie) wrote in charmingclutter,
sarcastic darling

Ponder beauty

This morning I saw an interesting piece about Eva Zeisel who has been at her particular craft for 80 years. She is a potter/designer who has a couple of shows displaying her work. Exquisite stuff. Many people may not know her name right off the bat but they would be familiar with her work. Crate and Barrel has a line of her stuff from things she created in the early fifties. Not only is she this wickedly talented artist she lead a rather exciting life. She grew up in an intellectual family in Budapest and was privately educated by some of the leading artists of the early 20th century, she lived in the Soviet Union and was their leading industrial designer of pottery, was sent to prison for nearly 2 years because of some trumped up charges. She was accused of a successful attempt to assassinate Stalin. She said when charged, "if it was successful would he not be dead by now?" They didn't take kindly to the humour. She was in solitary confinement during the entire time she was held. Then suddenly one day she was released and had to leave the Soviet Union. She then came to Vienna just as Hitler arrived so she quickly made it to England. She met a man, married and they came to the United States and she proceeded to become a teacher and also design beautiful kitchen things for museums (specifically a set of china for the Museum of Modern Art back in the early fifties) and for people. She is now 98 and still at it. How hip is that?
She said she designs first for usefulness and function and then for beauty. She said what good is something if it is beautiful if it isn't useful as well.

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