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A couple of weeks ago I was asked to sit on a panel of jurors for an architecture class at Columbia University.  I was recommended by my friends at The Uniform Project.  Although it was going to take a huge chunk of time I decided it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up.  Yesterday, three trains and an hour later I arrive at Columbia’s Campus, a destination I had never been to in the fifteen years I’ve lived in New York City.  The class was exploring ways to assist the people of Haiti, and some of them had come up with very interesting design options of transporting water, and having multifunctional uses within garments.

I couldn’t say long, as my colorful bowls back at Pratt needed glazing.  It was such a lovely day outside, and just as I was leaving the Columbia campus, I saw a woman of striking beauty, that I recognized.  I couldn’t believe it.  Eva Zeisel was soaking in the sun.  The woman who was with her and took this photo of us together and encourage me to talk with her.  Eva is 103, and is a little hard of hearing, and so I thought it funny that I had to almost shout to tell her I went to Pratt, while on the Columbia Campus.  We had such a nice immediate connection.  I am still amazed that life as afforded me such an amazing twist of fate.

She took my hands and I told her I was making a bowl and made the shape of it inside her hands.  I think she, hands down, has the strongest constitution of any person I will ever meet.  I was in such shock that I didn’t even ask the woman’s name who was with her.  I am hoping to seeing them both again over a bowl of coffee ice cream.

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4 Comments

  1. FANTASTIC story!
    Eva is generally aided by her daughter, Jean Richards. Jean may herself be in her 60s.
    If it was a younger woman then it may be her design assistant (name unknown to me).
    Anyway, if you’re a fan of Eva’s work, please visit the slide show I made to mark her 103rd birthday-
    http://www.xebrawerx.com/EvaZeiselAtMingei/photos.html

    • Hi Steve,
      Thanks so much for your comment and feedback.
      All the best,
      Kathleen

  2. Beautiful photo and happening.
    I haven’t been with Eva since her 100th birthday party.

    All smiles.

    • She indeed looks at least 20 years younger than her age!


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