DAVID GIL ‘SPARK’ VASE Nr. 1998 FOR BENNINGTON POTTERS - VERMONT

$375.00

CONTACT US HERE ABOUT THIS ITEM.

A black, Spark vase from BENNINGTON POTTERS, model 1998, designed in the 1960s by David Gil. They came in several sizes, of which this is the second largest. All of them are characterized by the asterisk-shaped cut-out on top, which aids in arranging flowers while echoing the company’s backstamp. This remarkably modernist “functional art” piece measures 8.75" tall x 5" in diameter. It is in excellent vintage condition.


DAVID GIL (1922–2018) graduated from Alfred University, renowned even then for its ceramics program; Gil relocated from New York City to Bennington, Vermont, where he founded BENNINGTON POTTERS. He began his life’s work there in 1948. For years, Gil lived and worked in a small Bennington barn just one block from Route 9. In this rustic structure, heated only by the pottery kiln, Gil designed and created pottery for everyday use. BENNINGTON POTTERS began with a mission. David Gil, founder and owner-operator from 1948 through 2002, was determined to design and bring beautiful, well-made ceramics to market in a production context. His artistry, technical creativity, commitment, and tenacity were the driving forces behind his vision and built the remarkable company that survives and thrives to this day. This potter thoughtfully blended form and function, focusing on valuable objects that wed the artist’s eye and craftsman's hand.  In 1961, Potters’ Yard moved to the spacious 4-1/2 acre site where it is now located. Demonstrating a talent that few knew he possessed, Gil retrofitted the buildings and equipment for his needs, a process common today but not prevalent at the start of the 1960s. Even the grounds reflected his design sense, where a life-long goal included saving every tree and bit of natural beauty. The collapse of a building’s roof, lean times, and even devastating fires did not dampen the spirits of this resilient artist. David Gil’s approach to business was a robust example of Yankee ingenuity and frugal persistence. Gil’s work is showcased in museums in the United States and abroad. He received several citations, including the Vermont Small Businessman of the Year Award in 1974 and the Vermont Small Business and Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1998.

David Gil, born David Goldfarb on May 29, 1922, founded BENNINGTON POTTERS in 1948, a business that is still going strong nearly 75 years later. This exhibition celebrates what would have been Gil’s 100th year, featuring a selection of recent additions to the museum’s collection and new discoveries that allow us to better tell his story.

During the 1950s Gil built a national reputation as a designer of exceptional talent. His ceramics received recognition at the annual National Ceramic Show at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, and inclusion in the 1955 Good Design exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Gil’s slick, biomorphic ceramics were featured alongside the work of such modern design luminaries as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, and Eva Zeisel.

Gil and his first wife, Gloria, were politically active and ardent supporters of the Democratic Party. Their political leanings were not common in Vermont during this period, as the state had not elected a Democratic governor in over 100 years prior to 1963. In 1950 Gil, working under his birth name, David Goldfarb, designed the cover for a booklet published by the Bennington chapter of the League of Women Voters, “Know Your Town”, which can be purchased in poster form from the Museum Store.

He also created ceramic medallions promoting and celebrating national and state Democratic politicians, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1960 Presidential campaign and Patrick Leahy’s first election as a Vermont Senator in 1975.

Though best known for his line of functional dinnerware, in the 1970s Gil created a line of decorative platters and sculptural faces that he referred to as “Artware.” Gil was friends with many of the artists who were active at Bennington College in the 1960s and 1970s, including Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski. Some of Gil’s artware platters are reminiscent of their abstract paintings, while his sculptural heads combine modernism with a whimsical charm.

BENNINGTON POTTERS David Gil, the founder of a Bennington company that produces hand-crafted pottery sold worldwide, has died. He was 79. Gil, of North Pownal, died Monday morning at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. He came to Bennington more than 50 years ago and started BENNINGTON POTTERS Inc. as a one-man operation in a barn. The company has since grown into a massive operation, selling pottery in more than 2,000 locations worldwide. Paul Silberman, the company’s president and CEO, said Gil’s death was unexpected. Silberman said he was looking forward to another solid 10 to 20 years. Born and raised in New York City, Gil graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School. He founded the company in 1948 after graduating from the ceramics school at Alfred University in New York. Gil bought the barn and began the company, which has helped bring name recognition to Bennington and its arts community. On a typical day, Gil came in every day at about 10 a.m. and rarely left the potters’ yard before 7 p.m.

In 1974, Gil was named Vermont Small Businessman of the Year. He was also the recipient of the Vermont Small Business and Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1998 and the Walloomsac Award, which he received from the Bennington Museum in 1999. Silberman said that BENNINGTON POTTERS has become a role model for New England craft companies struggling against foreign competition. Silberman noted that the company's management team, led by his wife, is determined to implement his legacy of a viable craft property to memorialize his life work. Gil is survived by his wife, Sheela Harden, and his four children.

David Gil, born David Goldfarb on May 29, 1922, founded BENNINGTON POTTERS in 1948, a business that is still going strong nearly 75 years later. This exhibition celebrates what would have been Gil’s 100th year, featuring a selection of recent additions to the museum’s collection and new discoveries that allow us to better tell his story.

During the 1950s Gil built a national reputation as a designer of exceptional talent. His ceramics received recognition at the annual National Ceramic Show at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, and inclusion in the 1955 Good Design exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Gil’s slick, biomorphic ceramics were featured alongside the work of such modern design luminaries as Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, and Eva Zeisel.

Gil and his first wife, Gloria, were politically active and ardent supporters of the Democratic Party. Their political leanings were not common in Vermont during this period, as the state had not elected a Democratic governor in over 100 years prior to 1963. In 1950 Gil, working under his birth name, David Goldfarb, designed the cover for a booklet published by the Bennington chapter of the League of Women Voters, “Know Your Town”, which can be purchased in poster form from the Museum Store.

He also created ceramic medallions promoting and celebrating national and state Democratic politicians, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1960 Presidential campaign and Patrick Leahy’s first election as a Vermont Senator in 1975.

BENNINGTON POTTERS David Gil, the founder of a Bennington company that produces hand-crafted pottery sold worldwide, has died. He was 79. Gil, of North Pownal, died Monday morning at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. He came to Bennington more than 50 years ago and started BENNINGTON POTTERS Inc. as a one-man operation in a barn. The company has since grown into a massive operation, selling pottery in more than 2,000 locations worldwide. Paul Silberman, the company’s president and CEO, said Gil’s death was unexpected. Silberman said he was looking forward to another solid 10 to 20 years. Born and raised in New York City, Gil graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School. He founded the company in 1948 after graduating from the ceramics school at Alfred University in New York. Gil bought the barn and began the company, which has helped bring name recognition to Bennington and its arts community. On a typical day, Gil came in every day at about 10 a.m. and rarely left the potters’ yard before 7 p.m.

In 1974, Gil was named Vermont Small Businessman of the Year. He was also the recipient of the Vermont Small Business and Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1998 and the Walloomsac Award, which he received from the Bennington Museum in 1999. Silberman said that BENNINGTON POTTERS has become a role model for New England craft companies struggling against foreign competition. Silberman noted that the company's management team, led by his wife, is determined to implement his legacy of a viable craft property to memorialize his life work.

Founder David Gil created the Bennington Potters signature back stamp early in his career by combining two stylized elements to form a single whole. Gil believed that his work was the result of a creative hand guided by the spark of inspiration and the back stamp he designed was a visual representation of this belief. Sometimes mistaken for the outline of a fork, the vertical element of the Bennington Potters back stamp is actually the shape of a hand and lower arm. Look carefully and you can see the wrist, thumb, and four fingers. The smaller symbol, a six-petaled burst, represents the inspirational "spark" that is expressed through the hand's actions.

Inspired by David and his legacy—a sacred cargo now in their hands—those who worked with him continue along this path. Founder David Gil created the BENNINGTON POTTERS signature back stamp early in his career by combining two stylized elements to form a single whole. Gil believed that his work resulted from a creative hand guided by the spark of inspiration, and the back stamp he designed was a visual representation of this belief. Sometimes mistaken for the outline of a fork, the vertical element of the Bennington Potters back stamp is actually the shape of a hand and lower arm. Look carefully; you can see the wrist, thumb, and four fingers. The smaller symbol, a six-petaled burst, represents the inspirational “spark” expressed through the hand’s actions. To save space, only the spark is stamped on most pottery pieces. BENNINGTON POTTERS’ pieces usually carry a number, which is often confused for a date, but these numbers are instead a product style designation that allows each piece to be easily identified. Over the last half-century, hundreds of shapes have been produced. Assigning each a shape number allows for clear communication when additional pieces are being made, purchased, or described by customers.



DETAILS

Designer – DAVID GIL

Design Period/Year – 1960s

Maker – BENNINGTON POTTERS

Production Period/Year – 1960s

Origin – USA

Styles/Movements – MINIMALISM; MODERN

Materials – CERAMIC

Colors – BLACK

Condition – Excellent vintage condition. Gently used if at all.

Dimensions – 5 ½" DIAM. × 8 ½" H

Quantity Available – 1