Octagonal shape with gold-banded edge. Heavily gilded, incised water plants in center, with space-filling floral and leaf forms of gold, with enamel color dots and smaller gold dots. Porcelain with blue underglaze decoration, overglaze enameling and gilding.
Nineteenth-Century Glitz in Greenpoint
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn was a hub for ceramic production and home to at least a dozen major firms. The beaches of the East River offered plentiful white sand and underdeveloped land near the shore accommodated the building of large factories. These firms produced a broad...
Heart shaped form, horizontally placed on three small feet. Circular openings in two lobes, with two inkwells, each with cover. Slight depression on top, at point. White ground with blue decoration of stylized flowers and foliage.
Love Letters
This delicate blue and white faience inkstand transports us back to a time in which letter writing was an integral part of daily communications. The inkstand was made in Rouen, an early center of production for French ceramics known as faience, which is tin-glazed earthenware. Between 1644 and the end of the eighteenth century, it is...
Square with greenish-blue ground having white decoration consisting of a kneeling woman wearing conical hat, long robe, watering a plant in classical vase at left, from which a cherub rises.
Watering Cupid
This pâte-sur-pâte glazed porcelain plaque, made by Mintons Ltd. in about 1909, reflects the humor and creativity of its designer, Marc Louis Emanuel Solon (1835-1913). Pâte-sur-pâte is a complex, time-consuming technique, which requires the designer to apply successive thin layers of liquid clay onto a tinted clay body in order to create a design. The...
Straight-sided, tapering circular cup (a) with glazed decoration consisting of series of narrow black vertical wedges on white ground; black along edge of rim; white loop handle and white interior. Circular saucer (b) with upraised rim and same tapering black decoration on white ground; black at rim; white underside.
Embracing Design’s Wild Side
In calculated contrast, sharp black wedges streak mathematically across a white ground. The black and white stripes that line Eugen Trost’s Zebra cup and saucer accentuate its tapered, circular form just as cleanly as they denote the wild zebra, from which it takes its name. These stripes, however, are hand painted. The Gefle Porcelinsfabrik in...
Michael Eden on Bloom Vase
Maker Michael Eden talks about the thinking and process behind his “Tall Green Bloom” urn, created with CAD software and 3D printing techniques. This urn will be on view at Cooper Hewitt as part of “Making Design,” our new exhibition of works from the permanent collection. Opening 12/12/14.
Design by Hand | Public Lecture with Heath Ceramics
Catherine Bailey (Creative Director), Robin Petravic (Managing Director), and Tung Chiang (San Francisco Studio Director) of Heath Ceramics talk about the history and inspiration behind the iconic American brand. Recorded 8 May 2014.
Design Dictionary: Ceramics
See how ceramics are made in this short video. Gil Grimmett shows how to create a basic project on the pottery wheel at Clayworks on Columbia in Brooklyn, New York. This piece took about 4 hours of active work, plus about 72 hours of air-drying and kiln-firing. About this series: Design Dictionary is a new...
Design and Food Journal 01: Planting the Flag
(Reversed Volumes. Image credit: Mischer'Traxler, http://www.mischertraxler.com/projects_reversed_volumes.html) Welcome to the Design and Food journal! In this Research-in-Progress blog series, I’ll be testing ideas and sharing what piques my interest around design and food, part of early ongoing research I’m undertaking here at Cooper-Hewitt in preparation for an exhibition. I view this space as an important part of...
Bill’s Design Talks: A Tribute to Eva Zeisel
Eva Zeisel was an industrial designer, ceramic artist, writer, and force of nature. During her extraordinary career, which spanned nine decades, she produced highly recognizable domestic items that changed the way Americans set their tables and furnished their homes. Zeisel was widely regarded as a master of modern design, creating objects that were beautiful as...