Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Inspiring Icons/ David Gil

Left: A portrait of Davis Gil in his studio, Right: Fish Plaque

Many plaques designed by David, I am lucky to own at least one of these great designs each

Left: Spark White vase, Right: The very collectable Lugged bowl 

Left: Bull Bank, Model 1601, Photography:, Right: Trigger mug in Teal

Left: One of the many Bennnington Potters stamps, Right: Two plate designs by David Gil,
Photography: Monki Vintage, click for link, A great source for David's work to purchase. 

Left: Exhibition of works by David Gil, Right: Trivet

Left: Another Lugged bowl, Right: Mr Salt and Mrs Pepper

Animal motif plates designed by David Gil

More plate designs by David Gil

Left: Trivet, Right: Snack bowl

I have to admit, prior to moving to the States several years ago, I did not know much about Bennington Pottery. Since styling in New York though it became apparent to me that the pieces I kept picking up in the Prop Houses was Bennington Pottery pieces from Vermont. With a palette largely of rich autumnal colors and deep teals, Bennington Pottery has always struck me with having a earthy, handmade quality with distinctive silhouettes that define the brand. With research I came to learn, Bennington Pottery's main player was a potter named David Gil

Bennington Potters was founded more than a half century ago by the young potter named David Gil. A graduate of Alfred University, which was renowned even then for its ceramics program, Gil relocated from New York City to Vermont beginning his life work there in 1948. Starting out in small barn with the business originally named Cooperative Design, In 1961 David Gil moved the business into a larger premises in Vermont where it still lives today and he re named it simply Bennington Potters. 

During his career, David distinguished himself as a designer with an ability to fuse contemporary forms with historic references, Although he valued handcraft and high aesthetic standards, he also embraced mechanization, Although largely an artist some forms were directly aimed at the commercial market. In 1953, Gil introduced the now very familiar "Trigger" mug with its double-loop handle and it became an instant best seller. He showed a sense of humor early on in his market wares, according to Franklin, "creating whimsical decorative work including Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper.

David and Bennington focused heavily on cooperative designs and while the company was steered by David Gil’s vision, Yusuke Aida, A Japanese potter designed many of the classic Bennington silhouettes in conjunction with David Gil from the period of 1961-1964. You can see this collaboration and Japanese influence in the designs that still look strikingly modern over 48 years later.

I still love and collect Bennington, many years later, Sadly David died in 2002 but he leaves a company still producing and greatly admired in Vermont and across the country.    

1 comment:

  1. I, too, am fortunate to own several pieces with David Gil's signature. It is a great story and as a Vermonter I am proud of what Bennington Potters has done. Nonetheless, the designs and quality of their pieces do not come close to David Gil's, in my opinion.