|Winslow Anderson in 2009 with Blenko Collectors|
From teapots to automobiles, the look of the objects we buy for everyday use has often been determined by designers. The designer is challenged to find innovative solutions to items that make life efficient and visually pleasing. A designer must have creative insight and the ability to turn ideas into reality. To be successful the designer must be not only a visionary, but also one who understands the limitations of specific manufacturing methods and the desire of the consumer. Questions of form, material function and beauty come into place. Often the designer must create his own product prototypes and become involved in the process of production.
Winslow Anderson's unique spirit and style infuse the hundreds of objects he designed since he began his career in 1946. Anderson brought to his designs creatively, ingenuity and a hands on involvement in the process from beginning concept to finished product. His thirty five year career as designer for BLENKO GLASS COMPANY, MILTON, WV and Lennox China and Crystal Trenton, NJ embodied all the principles of good design; his flowing organic and geometric shaped objects are functional and elegant, utilizing the materials, glass and clay, to their fullest potential. His designs in glassware and fine china also express the concerns of industry for marketable, affordable items.
Anderson was born in Plymouth, Mass in 1907. It was not sup rising that his seaboard town nurtured in Anderson an early aspiration to design sleek, swift boats. Economic necessity, however, forced him to abandon these youthful dreams for more practical employment. His early work for a local ceramic studio, Plymouth Pottery, soon proved his talent for hand craftsmanship. It was fortuitous that Anderson's pottery was discovered by a couple who encouraged him to attend Alfred University's School of Ceramics, whose sole purpose was to produce industrial designers particularly for New York State. At Alfred, Anderson's instincts and understanding of materials flourished. His education was interrupted by military service where he served as a topographic draughtsman.
Upon returning to school a completion was held among the students they were invited to submit a drawing of a goblet. A Steuben glassblower would create the winning design during the school's annual open house. Anderson's design won.
Anderson modestly attributed his hiring as Blenko's first designer to this piece.
NOTE: Pencil drawing done in 1944 for the winning design at Alfred University.
Thank you to HUNTINGTON MUSEUM OF ART - Huntington, WV
for the above information and copy of drawing Information from Blenko Collector Alex Staton