Flickr Widget

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jens Risom

I started this blog September 6, 2010. Some of you have been readers since the beginning. Others have come on board later. From now through the end of the month, I'm going to be on a short blogging break. Not only am I in the middle of a big volunteer project, I'm also trying to help get the new store open, so I've decided share some of my favorite posts from the past four years. I'll throw in a few new photos for you longtime supporters who read the posts when they were first published.


(First posted 10/31/2010)

Jens Risom (1916- ) studied interior and furniture design at the Arts and Crafts Academy of Copenhagen, graduating in 1937. In 1939, he immigrated to the United States where he established himself as a proponent of the Scandinavian Modern style, which, at the time, had not yet achieved popularity.

That changed in 1940, when his design for a model house in New York's Rockefeller Center attracted widespread attention, generating both publicity and commissions, among them the distinction of being the first person invited to design furniture for Hans Knoll.

One of Risom's most recognizable designs is the birchwood chair (1941), which was made of molded birch and army surplus webbing. It is still in production today in a variety of colors. He is also known for his sculptural tables, chairs and sofas which had a lip that edged over an open base, giving the piece the illusion of floating.

After the Second World War, Risom founded his own furniture business, Jens Risom Design. He served as chief designer until 1973, when he sold his company to Dictaphone. He then moved to New Canaan, Connecticut, where he founded a consultancy studio called Design Control. It is still active.

From lostcityarts.com



Lounge chair
bonluxat.com

Bench
archiexpo.com

Credenza
1stdibs.com

Armchairs
1stdibs.com

Magazine table
1stdibs.com

Slipper chair
1stdibs.com

3-seater sofa
1stdibs.com

Chair and ottoman
1stdibs.com

Side table
1stdibs.com

Love seat
1stdibs.com

Risom's Rhode Island residence
dwell.com

Interior of Risom residence
dwell.com

knoll.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Eva Zeisel

I started this blog September 6, 2010. Some of you have been readers since the beginning. Others have come on board later. From now through the end of the month, I'm going to be on a short blogging break. Not only am I in the middle of a big volunteer project, I'm also trying to help get the new store open, so I've decided share some of my favorite posts from the past four years. I'll throw in a few new photos for you longtime supporters who read the posts when they were first published.


(First posted 10/28/2010)

Ceramics designer Eva Zeisel (1906-) began a prolific career in her late teens and continues to create innovative pieces even today. She was born in Budapest and pursued a career in painting, studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, but left in search of a more craft-oriented trade. She was apprenticed to a ceramist and soon became one of the first female journeyman potters.

In 1932 Zeisel moved to Russia, drawn by the folk art and the peasant customs that still thrived there. She was forced to leave by the increasingly hostile attitudes towards foreigners. In 1938 she moved to England and married Hans Zeisel. The couple immigrated to the United States in late 1938. One of Zeisel's first commissions in America was designing giftware for the Bay Ridge Specialty Company. When she started teaching at Pratt in 1939, a position she held until 1953, she arranged an innovative apprenticeship for her students through Bay Ridge, offering them a unique opportunity to gain professional experience.

In 1942, after the MoMA's Organic Design in Home Furnishings exhibit, the Castleton Company asked the museum to find a ceramist who could design a series that would define a new era of modern china. Zeisel was chosen, and her 1946 Museum series was unveiled. She followed this line with the colorful and playful 1946 Town and Country dinnerware for Red Wing Pottery (shown in my October 26 post). Another acclaimed series was Tomorrow's Classic for Charles Seliger.

Zeisel retired from mass-produced commercial design in the mid 1960s. She kept creating her own work, however, and celebrated her 100th birthday by designing her first teapot for Chantal of Texas in 2006. Asked about her continued work, she said, “My new designs reflect, as always, my playful search for beauty.” And she adamantly refuses to say she's "still working," which she thinks implies what she's doing is unusual. According to Zeisel, she's just doing what she's always done...being a "maker of things."

From r20thcentury.com and oneartworld.com



jeremybales.blogspot.com

Museum pattern
brooklynmuseum.org

Hallcraft pitcher
srandsgallery.com

Tomorrow's Classic
midmodmom.com

Baby oil pourer
brooklynmuseum.org

Town and Country cruet
lacma.org

Screen
jasonleedesign.com

Town and Country
bostonglobe.com

Vase
veniceclayartists.com

Duck tea set
modish.net

Chantal kettle
designed to celebrate her 100th birthday
craftcouncil.org

wizzley.com

designobserver.com


Update: Eva Zeisel died in 2011 at the age of 105. At the time this post was written, she was still alive.