Hanova of Pasadena
HANOVA OF PASADENA
Hanova began 1962 is a collaboration between Erwin Prust and Bob Hill in Hollywood, California. Prust and Hill experimented using a small furnace to improve the technique of enamel coating on steel rather than the typical base metal of copper. Prust and Hill moved the production to Pasadena, California. Hill designed pieces and Prust, with his background in porcelain enamel processes, perfected the techniques and managed production. During this time, Prust honed and finally perfected the enamel lava and crazing texturing technique on steel that signifies their distinctive pieces.
The process of perfecting the surface was a lengthy one. The finish required three coats of enamel to be fired independently at about 1400 degrees. The steel was cleaned and etched, and fired with a base coat. Secondly came a coat of olive-colored enamel. The third and final coat was the primary color of the piece that revealed the olive color underneath. Rust, mustard, turquoise, blue and green were the most popular of the 10 colors. Each piece was unique and random in its texturing.
The company ran a small operation, with only 2 to 3 employees as a production workshop team. In 1967, Hill’s enthusiasm for the business had all but died, and he sold his share to Prust. After Hill, who was the the primary designer for the company, Prust hired Charles Chaney to design a collection of functional serving non textured pieces. The company came up with a new line of products without texturing called Avonah, which was Hanova spelled backward. At around this same time, Hanova also created sculptural candle holders from the steel that was left over from other products welded in various contorted forms but some still utilizing the beautiful enamel lava textures. After the fruitful collaboration of Hill and Prust, Hanova of Pasadena never achieved the same success both visually and financially. Prust continued to seek new ideas by designing an animal sculpture line of products with owls, snails, hippos and imaginary creatures from the outer space. These pieces naturally did not succeed. Prust retired in 1975 after selling the remains of his company, but the collection and its beautiful innovative enamel techniques ended when the original founders ceased to be a collaboration.