Interview with Design Director Anna Eide
Behind the Design: Meet Anna, the artist behind Corelle® Dinnerware
You might not realize it, but Corelle® dinnerware has to be on-trend, in the know, and even fashion-forward. It’s up to the brand’s design team to make sure products are in style, even before you know it.
That’s where Anna Eide enters.
If anyone deserves to be known as the face of the brand, it’s Anna. She’s led the Corelle design team for more than 25 years. With a creative arts background and passion for travel, Anna’s brought a worldly sense to hundreds of Corelle patterns. But it’s her childhood memories from back home in Norway that feed her passion.
Artistic childhood set the table
Anna’s journey began in the small Norwegian village of Ørland, located at the foot of the Norwegian Sea. The picturesque setting piqued an early interest in drawing and painting. Talent took over from there, with her first art exhibition at age 12.
It was Anna’s mother, Mary, who ignited Anna’s artistic passion. Showing her flair for style, Anna’s mother had meticulous mealtime rituals that made a lasting impression.
“At every meal, my mom would put together the kitchen table with every detail just so. Even the butter was sculpted with a piece of parsley on it,” she says. “The details she put into it and the joy she created brought a lot of enjoyment to me.”
Let the Traveling Begin
Young Anna soon developed a desire to travel, too. In fact, her mother recently found a journal in which Anna wrote about a dream of a man who said she’d go to America on her own airplane. She was no more than 10 years old.
“I took the job at Corning because they had private planes,” she fondly recalls.
Anna channeled her artistic focus into textile design and after college opened her own boutique studio. But that sense of adventure and the desire to help others had a profound effect on her future.
Her first trip was to Nairobi, Kenya, where she spent four years with the Norwegian Peace Corps helping women build small-scale textile businesses.
“They had a lot of traditions there, but not much education on how to put things together,” she relates. “I thought I had a sense of what works together. I also wanted to learn about other cultures.”
And so she did. She came to America next to build her knowledge in textiles and fashion.
“In my field of textile design, Kyoto, Japan, was sort of the top place and New York City was coming up at the time,” she says. “I had always wanted to come to the (United) States, so I decided on New York and enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology.
“It was quite an experience to come to America. It was a different culture. When you do well in the States, all the doors open for you.”
Corning and Corelle: A slice of Americana
And that’s when the Corelle door first opened ever so slightly.
“I never thought I would do anything in glass,” Anna admits. “Even when I applied for the job, I didn’t know what Corning or Corelle meant. But I remembered my mother’s table and the importance of it, so I thought, why not?”
Originally with Corning Glass Works, today Anna is Director of Design with current Corelle owner, World Kitchen, LLC.
“I came here to understand middle America. I had been creating for the few at my boutique. It’s easy to work for the few, but hard to please the masses,” she says. “It’s definitely a different way of looking at it.”
Today, Anna and her staff work with designers across the globe to source original art and create new patterns for Corelle dinnerware.
“I’m like an editor,” she says. “I have been working with designers from all over the world to bring out the best in them so we can design the best we can.”