|PFALTZGRAFF's GRAND HOTEL
Throughout the world, every great city has its "Grand Hotel". Not just a place to sleep or eat, but a distinctive oasis of elegance and comfort,where no detail is overlooked. This classic style inspired the Grand Hotel Collection from Pfaltzgraff, a new line of dinnerware and accessories that brings the quiet sophistication of a first-class hotel into your home.
Two different generously sized sculpted and embossed dinner and salad plates coordinate and complement each other. A collectible series of "Grand Reception Buffet Plates" feature a designer's rendering of hotel scenes, artisically crated in a pen and ink motif, with just a wash of color. Serving accessories in glass and brushed metal emphasize the diversity of the collection.
THE PFALTZGRAFF CO.
140 East Market Street
York, PA 17401
Steinberg designs for every day
BY SIOBHAN CONNALLY
There's a lot of life behind the designs of Susan Steinberg, whose fascination with art, education, and everyday things has led her from the classroom to the boardrooms of major dinnerware manufacturers around the world.
A high school fine art and photography teacher for more than a decade, Steinberg, at the suggestion of a friend, began a hobby that changed her life. "I started painting on tile at a little ceramics shop where you buy the grcenware, you paint it and then someone fires it for you," said Strinberg, who amassed a sizable collection of samples that included dinnerware, serviceware, and other utilitarian objects. After painstakingly photographing and cataloging her ever-growing collection, she obtained a selling agent and began to sell her work locally to craft and gift shops. Soon, demand for her work skyrocketed.
"I couldn't keep up with the production so I went to some of the biggest companies with my designs to see if they would produce my work." Her big break came when Dixie Paper Products offered her a very lucrative job designing eight plates. "After that, I sat down and made a list of all the most popular companies in the dinnerware market and brought them my portfolio...I got so many commissions that I quit my teaching job and became an artist fulltime," she said.
Her works have since adorned items ranging from paper productgs and outdoor floor mats to fabric designs and hand-painted glassware, and her more than 400 designs have been picked up by such companies as Mikasa, Pfaltzgraff, Chaleu-Misaine, Aztec Lighting, Bennington Pottery and Springfield Precision Instruments.
Steinberg, who has a B.F.A from the Art Center College of Design at Pasadena, Calif., feels most of her influences come from the world around her. "I live in the country where I am surrounded by nature, yet only two hours from Manhattan. I am inspired by the life there, by the way people shop and I try to gather my inspiration from everything from grocery package design to Saks Fifth Avenue to car design...you never know where the great ideas are going to come from."
Prior to designing motifs for giftware, Steinberg's paintings ranged from portraits to landscapes and to evolved to include a little of both. "I had ended up doing these three-dimensional paintings that used earth and leaves and sticks of wax. "The competitive gallery scene, while fulfilling, was not financially secure. "I had done a lot of things, from these paintings, lots of landscapes and even black and white political cartoons for local newspapers. That background follows me. In fact it all just seemed to fit together through everything I ever learned and everything I ever did. Steinberg's quest for inspiration often takes her to stores, museums, and other public places to see what attracts people. "It's a fun challenge to have someone give you an idea and then to be able to satisfy them with whatever you do," she said.
Steinberg describes her work as an eclectic mix of styles that uses a vast array of colors and designs from primitive cultures to the heart of fashion's couture. "In this country, I have learned, a lot of people mix and match. It depends on the market you want to sell in however. I try to fit my designs to the type of stores they will be sold in."
Some of her favorite designs now grace Mikasa dinnerware. Called Parisian, the series in black and white is taken right from the studies she made in Paris of street scenes in her sketch book. In the dishware, observers will find street scenes firom the Latin Quarter, and on closer inspection find the gargoyles of Notre Dame looming on vegetable bowls.
Other popular designs from Steinberg's collection have included a dog and cat motif for Pfaltzgraff and a new clothesline motive, complete with windblown clothes wafting out, that is in the company's showroom now and is expected to be released next year.
Steinberg's love of teaching and her quest for knowledge will be realized in a new series for American Atelier called "Collge." For this series of 1860s botanicals patterns as a collage Steinberg drew from a herbarium she had acquired at a flea market. "Back then it was common for people to press flowers into a book, alongside handwriting. I was surprised to find this treasure and then turn it into a treasure for others."
Steinberg's next goal? "I would like to work with a company from the ground up. With my background as a teacher, I think I can use those skills and create my own line. That is my vision.? KN