It was Adam Zeisel’s father who originally proposed that the then–college student find a manufacturer and a market for six glass goblets designed by his grandmother. But the artist herself, Eva Zeisel, was skeptical. After all, she was a world-renowned industrial designer and ceramicist who had created objects for Nambé, Chantal, and Crate & Barrel. How could such a young man properly represent her work?
"I wanted to add a new chapter to Eva’s legacy," Zeisel says, "but I had to prove myself first." While he couldn’t connect with her artistically, he did share her creativity: "She understood my approach to business, which is free-flowing and organic, and very similar to how she designs." With her blessing, he launched a website to showcase her past and present work.
In two years, Zeisel has put his grandmother’s new designs into production, selling them on his site and at a handful of boutiques. The 101-year-old artist, who lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, has been energized by the fresh interest in her work and continues to turn out new pieces. "Designing keeps her vibrant," says Zeisel.
Centennial goblet collector set, $5,000 for a set of six styles. From left, Flower, $1,450; Cage, $2,100; Modern, $750; and Chalice $1,100. 781-929-3409, evazeiseloriginals.com.