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Trip to Paris nets artist
dinnerware drawings

Danbury woman sells sketches to Mikasa

By Jon Chesto

DANBURY - Susan Steinberg was waiting for a friend outside a hotel in Paris' Latin Quarter when she took out her pen and pad of postcard-size paper and started drawing what she saw in front of her.

At the time, Steinberg didn't think too much of what she'd done.

?If I have a moment and I have my stuff with me, I sketch," said Steinberg, an artist who grew up in Danbury and now lives in Sherman.

When she pitched the drawings to Mikasa the china company, they attracted the interest of the chairman. So she returned to her drawings and photographs from her 1995 trip to Paris and created an entire series. Some show familiar sights such as th e Eiffel Tower and the gargoyles of Notre Dame cathedral, while others depict street scenes of cafes and shops.

That series of 10 Parisian scenes is on dinnerware sets at many Mikasa stores, including the one on Backus Avenue in Danbury. It's the first full line that Steinberg has done for the Secaucus, NJ-based company.

Steinberg was impressed by how well her drawings were duplicated on the dinnerware. "I think they did an incredible job," she said. "It's better than I would have imagined."

Although she has been interested in art all her life, Steinberg has worked full time as an artist for just four years after leaving a teaching career. Her work has appeared on a range of household items, such as place mats, tea bag holders, mugs and seder plates.,

Rick Fencel, vice president of marketing for Mikasa, said the set of fine china with Steinberg's artwork is among the better values in the company's dinnerware lines. Furthermore, the Parisian set is dishwasher and microwave safe.

"This one caught our eye because it was very unique," Fencel said.