Monday, September 18, 2006

for eva and eva

Sigh, I love chic, clean design. And one of the masters of industrial design (and one of my personal favorites!) Eva Zeisel, is turning 100 this year -- and, believe it or not, she's still designing! (So much for taking it easy when you get older.) While you may not have heard of Eva, you've probably seen and used her curvy creations before. Her tea service, dinner plates and serving bowls have graced tables around the world for more than half a century. She is known for her sculptural ceramic pieces with rounded curves, arches, teardrops and wave motifs, which never seem to go out of style. (Take note, Todd Oldham!)

But for her birthday, it looks likes Eva is celebrating in grand centennial style by introducing her first tea kettle design for Chantal (appropriately called the Eva Kettle) and reissuing her classic, swoon-worthy 1950's Pinnacle Tea Set. As usual her design is ergonomic, graceful and functional. The stainless steel kettle features a wide base to decrease boiling time, a tilted and curved stay-cool silicone handle and a seam free body. The first 550 tea kettles will be numbered -- so fun!

The Pinnacle Tea Set is as chic today as it was when it was created more than 50 years ago. Curvy, sensual and refined, it's available in classic white and, for the first time, in black. The Eva Kettle and Pinnacle Tea Set are sold exclusively at Bloomingdale's. The kettle is $80, tea pot $40, and the sugar and creamer set are $30.

You may have seen some of her 1952 reissued designs at your local Crate & Barrel, who has carried her Classic Century tabletop collection for the past year. The salt and pepper shakers ($35), sauce boat ($45) and teapot ($65) are my favorites, although the rest of the line is sublime. Hope they're around for a long time!

Last year, I bought the salt and pepper shakers she designed for Nambe for a friend's wedding ... and it was so hard having to part with them when the actual gift giving time arrived. I just love the graceful lines and go-with-anything style.

And most exciting, Klein Reid teamed with Eva in 1999 to design a line exclusive to their company. The collection includes porcelain and hand-blown crystal pieces. I would be one happy girl with blue crystal centerpiece vase collection.

Granted, I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage that month (it's about $1,200 for the entire set), but in some weird galaxy, it sounds like a sacrifice worth making.


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