Doer's Profile: Dorothy Hafner
Her dinnerware designs
were described as “avantgarde”
when they were
first introduced in the
1980s. Actually, Dorothy
Hafner’s creations were
with Rosenthal Studio
Line, she literally changed
the shape of dinnerware
as we know it. This
intrepid ceramic artist
gave new and radical
forms to plates and
hollowware, infusing them
with raucous patterns
and riotous colors. “Flash”
and “Mars Landing” were
among her innovative
contributions and, as
much as they shook up
a dormant tabletop
industry, they also became
Though Hafner’s patterns
are no longer in production,
the shapes still are, and
her originals are highly
coveted by collectors. She
is continually percolating
with creative ideas, but a
remains to be seen. For
the indisputable impact
she’s had on the tabletop
industry, we’re excited to
spotlight Dorothy Hafner.
What china pattern/brand
do you use in your home?
I have my own handmade patterns from the
’80s, and let my mood or the food that’s
being served decide what I use. So if we’re
eating Mexican, then out comes the more
brightly colored designs, while if it’s a filet
of sole, I pick out something a little more
conservative. Appetizer, entrée, dessert –
all get a different design.
What crystal pattern/brand do you use in
Years ago I bought from
Rosenthal a pattern called Skal-Clear. I love
the chiseled and sculptural look of this – the
tumblers are clear with a hefty, angular and
If you could host a dinner party for six
famous guests — living or dead — who
would you invite?
I think the conversation
would be lively, smart and fun with Stephen
Colbert, Steve Martin and Charlie Rose plus
Terry Gross, Rachel Maddow and Tina Fey.
Can’t you just imagine the verbal fireworks?
What’s the last gift you purchased for
someone, and the occasion?
studio manager’s birthday, I got her a coral
red lambskin wallet by Proenza Schouler at
What is your favorite getaway destination,
Australia and a visit to the Great
Barrier Reef. I love the color and motion of
snorkeling, being outdoors and enjoying the
sun and surf, and then following
that up with a day or two in
Sydney where I can go to all the museums.
What’s the last book you
Stone by Abraham Verghese. Reading is a
passion, and this book had everything I look
for: covering different cultures, generations,
What profession other than your own
might you like to attempt?
I wish I could be
What one thing about you might surprise
others to know?
For all the exotic travel I’ve done and
creative trails I’ve followed in my life, I’ve
never been to Disneyland and have always
wanted to go.
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