Eva Zeisel, Ceramic Artist and Designer, Dies at 105

Eva Zeisel at the Museum of Modern Art in 1997, with a piece from a porcelain table service introduced in 1946; behind her is a chair she designed.

Eva Zeisel, a ceramic artist whose elegant, eccentric designs for dinnerware in the 1940s and ’50s helped to revolutionize the way Americans set their tables, died on Friday in New City, N.Y. She was 105.

Her death was confirmed by her daughter, Jean Richards.

Ms. Zeisel (pronounced ZY-sel), along with designers like Mary and Russel Wright and Charles and Ray Eames, brought the clean, casual shapes of modernist design into middle-class American homes with furnishings that encouraged a postwar desire for fresh, less formal styles of living.

“Museum,” the porcelain table service that brought Ms. Zeisel national notice, was commissioned by its manufacturer, Castleton China, in conjunction with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which introduced it in an exhibition in 1946, its first show devoted to a female designer.

Ms. Zeisel’s work, which ultimately spanned nine decades, was at the heart of what the museum promoted as “good design”: domestic objects that were beautiful as well as useful and whose beauty lent pleasure to daily life.

“She brought form to the organicism and elegance and fluidity that we expect of ceramics today, reaching as many people as possible,” said Paola Antonelli, a curator of architecture and design at the museum. “It’s easy to do something stunning that stays in a collector’s cabinet. But her designs reached people at the table, where they gather.”

Born Eva Amalia Striker in Budapest on Nov. 13, 1906, she was the daughter of Laura Polanyi Striker and Alexander Striker. Her father owned a textile factory. Her mother was a historian, feminist and political activist.

READ MORE  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/31/arts/design/eva-zeisel-ceramic-artist-and-designer-dies-at-105.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=eva&st=cse  

Remembering Designer Eva Zeisel–LISTEN

January 2, 2012

All Things Considered host Melissa Block remembers Eva Zeisel, one of the premier ceramic designers of the last century. She died last week at her New City, N.Y., home at the age of 105.

LISTEN   http://www.npr.org/2012/01/02/144587800/remembering-designer-eva-zeisel

A Poem A Day: Portable, Peaceful And Perfect

December 26, 2011

Alan Heathcock is the author of Volt.

I hadn’t slept well, had to get my three kids to three different schools in three different cities, had deadlines piled on deadlines. I leaned my head against my bookcases and there, at eye-level, was a book of poetry by Mary Oliver.

I randomly opened to the poem “Egrets.” Like magic, I was pushing through catbrier to the edge of a pond, where I watched “a spindle of bleached reeds” become egrets and “unruffled, sure, by the laws of their faith not logic, they opened their wings softly and stepped over every dark thing.”

I closed the book, transformed, bolstered from the inside out.

From that day forward, each morning I read a poem. Even with a crazed daily docket, I can manage a minute or two for the words, reading while waiting for the bread to toast, sitting in a school parking lot. I’ve read poems at jury duty. At Jiffy Lube. Once, at a football tailgate, I read a poem in a Portajohn.

That’s the practical greatness of a poem. They don’t take much time, travel well, don’t require any plug-ins or accessories. It’s the ancient and perfect technology of words on a page that make you imagine beyond your means, make you feel the truths of lives that are not yours, and contemplate the life you have.

The older I get, the more life passes in a harried traffic of cars and people and events. This world of shallow speed often sends me to sleep feeling I’ve been to battle. Battle at dance practice and the soccer game and the drive-thru window, battle to pick up the dry cleaning and get the kids new shoes before I have to attend parent-teachers conferences. Battles at work, battles in my relationships, battles with myself. If you’re like me, you long for a bit of quiet, a morning in the chapel, a walk in the woods. If only I had the time to still my mind, take an accounting of myself, find my balance once again.

I’m not a poet. Not much of scholar. Just a guy looking for a little peace in the mad scramble that is life. For me, this peace is a poem. A poem each morning, to sustain me through my days with the faith of an egret stepping over every dark thing.

‘In The Right Place’ by Cordley Coit… Another old Crested Butte memory..JR

The entry to town looked like the entry to a junk yard. I liked it immediately. After years in England avoiding my country’s call, Local Board Six, Vineyard Haven, Mass, informed me that the State of Massachusetts was no longer persecuting draft dodgers and the land of the free was a safe place to live.

This happened about the time I made some very unpopular films about Ireland. I was shot at by the Protestants, my people over there, and had beaten the living shit out of a couple of vengeful IRA types. The country I returned to was split. There were signs saying “no hippies here” and in Nebraska I was offered a fight a couple of times for being a hippy. I was hellishly tired and dirty and declined to fight, the fool didn’t know I had a .45 revolver under the seat and was sick enough of conflict to waste a flag wearing patriot in a Belfast second. Armed love was my motto, words to live through the Nixon years by.

My first stop in Crested Butte was Tony’s Conoco. The old man kindly asked me what that thing in my pickup was. “Haven’t you seen a motorcycle before?”

I then went into Tony’s Tavern. A surly young man served me 3.2 beer and told me my brother would be there in a minute. I liked it more. I sat there with my beer between sleep and awake. An old timer was sitting at the end of the bar. He was a Slav or Croate, I could tell by the accent. “Hey, buy the new guy a beer and strain it through an IWW sock”. His hands were gnarled from arthritis, his voice was the yell of a miner. Pitzker Sporicich introduced himself. When I told him I was a Wobbly he laughed a big laugh. “Hell, half this town are Wobbles and the other half Klansmen.

READ ON:  http://www.cordleycoit.com/FeeSpeach/free.freespeech.org/mw/CrestedButte.htm

True Grit: ‘Into The Silence’ Scales Everest–LISTEN–


December 29, 2011

No mountain captures the popular imagination like Everest. The world’s highest peak, towering out of the Himalayas, has frequently proved deadly to those who have tried to reach its summit. The most famous of its victims was the first Englishman to attempt a climb: George Mallory. In the early 1920s Mallory took part in the first three expeditions up Everest, dying on his third attempt.

Wade Davis, explorer in residence at National Geographic, chronicles these expeditions in his new book, Into the Silence, which links the team’s hardiness and appetite for risk and adventure to their experiences in the trenches of World War I.

“They took their experiences which were never spoken about but never forgotten to the flanks of the mountain,” Davis says. “Death had no mystery for them, because they’d seen so much of it. What mattered was how one lived.”

And while charismatic, good-looking Mallory was the leader and the public face of the expedition — and dying in the course of the climb just cemented his reputation — the real unsung hero was a Canadian surveyor, Oliver Wheeler.

It was Wheeler who found the route to the mountain — not George Mallory as the historians have claimed.








Wheeler’s discovery of a route through the Rongbuk glacier (a route still used today by climbers coming from the Tibetan side) is especially remarkable given how unassuming the glacier is. Its mouth was so narrow that Mallory passed it three times, thinking it wasn’t worthy of exploration. But Wheeler, the mapmaker, thought everything was worthy of exploration.

“His job was to map the inner core of Everest, and he did so with incredible courage,” Davis says. “He spent more time along on the mountain, exposed to the wrath of the mountain, than anyone else in 1921.”

LISTEN/READ:  http://www.npr.org/2011/12/29/144380271/true-grit-into-the-silence-scales-everest

Bean Fever Blend—–the dude has a coffee named for him….and you can order some..

Gareth Richards buying his first lb. of Bean Fever..

Product Description

Strong, full bodied, burly, humble, no b.s., the real deal with a heartfelt finish…oh, you thought we were talking about the coffee. Actually, we’re talking about Bean Bowers, a friend who left us way too early and who will continue to shape our lives as they play out. Bean enjoyed this organic blend, we think you will too. Best paired with yoga and Metallica as the sun comes up. A few bucks from the price you paid will be donated to Bean’s favorite non-profit, Alpine Mentors, to train the next generation of alpinists. Wake up, take a deep breath, drink your coffee, grab life by the balls and squeeze out every last drop! Drink up!

Bean Bowers–‘The Lives They Loved’–NYT

Bean Bowers died in July, a month short of his 38th birthday. This picture shows Bean at his “Most Enthusiastic” best, that being the name of the award he won at camp when he was nine years old.

READ MORE:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/12/20/magazine/lives-they-lived-reader-submissions.html#4ef262a7df7248328e000022

‘Smart Decline’–LISTEN–


Unfinished subdivisions like this one in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, Ariz., have led urban planners to suggest “smart decline” strategies that sometimes even dismantle existing infrastructure.


December 28, 2011 from KJZZ

On the western edge of Phoenix, it’s easy to find vast tracts of empty land once prepped for two-by-fours and work crews. Utility stanchions emerge like errant whiskers from the desert floor.

This is the land of zombie subdivisions. Some experts believe up to 1 million dirt lots in central Arizona were in some stage of approval for new homes when the market crashed.

Urban planners are floating a radical solution for areas like this. It’s known as “smart decline.”

Justin Hollander, an assistant professor at Tufts University, wrote a book called Sunburnt Cities,about smart decline in the Southwest. After the bust, he says, more than a third of ZIP codes in major Sun Belt cities saw population losses.

“People are leaving,” Hollander says. “So that means all the houses, all the roads and infrastructure that supports those houses, it doesn’t just disappear.”

In some cases, Hollander calls for tearing down that infrastructure. He points to some Rust Belt cities that took generations to realize the depth of their problems.

“If you don’t do a good job, it further destabilizes the neighborhood,” he says. “It further creates a cycle of disinvestment.”

Read More/Listen  http://www.npr.org/2011/12/28/144333793/smart-decline-a-lifeline-for-zombie-subdivisions

Antique Indian motorcycle heads to auction, rust included

Wednesday, 28 December 2011 | Written by Digits | Print | E-mail

Bikers might want to take another look at that unused, rusting motorcycle hidden away in the corner of the backyard if an upcoming auction in Las Vegas is anything to go by.

The motorcycle press is abuzz about a 1906 Indian Camelback going to auction that has definitely seen better days. Experts expect collectors to look past its ‘unrestored state’ and bid on the fact that the motorcycle on the block is one of only 1,698 Indian Camelbacks produced some 105 years ago. The model was one of the first ever two-wheeled motorized machines and one which is hugely desirable to collectors.

“It was a pedal assisted bike and it still has its original registration number on the rear mud guard,” Ben Walker from Bonhams explains.

The motorcycle is going under the hammer at Bonhams in Las Vegas on January 12th. The expected winning bid should fall around $75,000. But auction goers are buying more history than performance

The motorcycle going to auction boasts a single cylinder 2.25 horsepower engine that kicks out a top speed of 30 mph.

READ MORE:  http://www.clutchandchrome.com/news/news/anitque-indian-motorcycle-heads-to-auction-rust-included