This piece of ceramic relief sculpture, Noah!, is made of a light-coloured clay (called Yellow Terrazzo), with an inlay of smoked glass. Many of the elements are finished with acrylic paint. (See my post from September, showing how it was made).The design is simple, primitive, direct and, I hope, powerful. The motif of the dove flying off to find the olive-branch – the symbol that G-d has made His peace with man – is universal. I wanted to use colour to lighten up the heavy, quite rudely-cut forms of the figures. Originally I used only the lightest blues, but gradually added turquoise and indigo, as the greater tonal depth seemed to give more life to the figures. Then, on a whim, I added the orange details, and strengthened the whites. This really seemed to add life and joy – so I stopped there!
A video showing the painting process for this newly commissioned work. Filmed by me and son!
Pilgrimage to the Valley of Gold, Acrylic with applied gold leaf on canvas, 65cm x 120cm.
Pilgrimage to the Valley of Gold
Once a year, the pilgrims visit this most sacred valley of the desert, where veins of gold run through the rock, symbolizing eternal wisdom and the divine (אלוקות). Each of the Twelve Tribes is represented, wearing variations of their tribal colours and, between the many and complex religious devotions, families may relax among the boulders, and partake of food and drink. This painting depicts the day after the majority of the celebrants have left, and a few families are relaxing, enjoying the peace of dawn in the valley, before starting their journey home.
This is an imaginary place, and an imaginary festival, but it is based on real boulder-strewn wadis in the Sinai desert, on real traditions of reverence and devotion, and on the mystical thread of gold which ties each of us together – our individual and collective divine soul.
In the Torah, water is a symbol of the wisdom of the Torah itself, and therefore a channel of flowing water runs through the centre of this scene, (a rare event in the real desert). Since the Torah was made for man, whose time comes and goes with the years, so the water flows constantly. The gold also flows, but infinitely slowly, in geological time, and that is why, apart from its lustre, I’ve chosen gold to represent the divine presence which runs through and underlies everything.
This is a quick video of us building our succah last week….A succah is a temporary hut which replicates the ancient Israelites’ dwellings during their forty-year sojourn in the Sinai. It also reminds us of the temporary nature of all of our lives on earth.
Showing stages in the creation of a new ceramic wall sculpture, 28cm x 25cm. It’ll be finished with coloured glazes. Looking forward to showing you the finished product soon….
Our herb collection this hot and humid morning……..and my covered outdoor ceramics corner! I love working out here in the summer, sometimes late at night, and also later in the year when it rains, and I’m protected from the rain….but am still outside…..fantastic!
This small ceramic relief sculpture (13.5 x 18cm) shows a Biblical patriarch and a palm tree. It has been fired once, and is coloured with watercolour, giving a matt, non-shiny finish. (Suitable for an indoor location).
I’m currently working on these two small relief sculptures in clay. Shown here before firing and before colouring, they will eventually be terracotta red clay, with colour and gold leaf applied. Approximately 15cm wide, they are intended to be wall-hung.
This recently completed horse sculpture depicts an ancient Egyptian royal horse adorned with blue and hold ceremonial crest and tail. Ceramic, with blue underglaze and gold leaf. An art prize I won at school was a modest and beautiful bronze of a horse by Elizabeth Frink, which I was entitled to keep for a year. I have loved drawing horses ever since. This, however, is the first time I’ve made a horse sculpture, and I found it tremendously satisfying. The pose of this horse is similar to the Frink horse, but this is a royal warrior horse, and is much more bulky, and obviously the style is more naive….
I’ve just completed a new sculpture. My New Black Moses stands 31.5cm high and is made of black fired clay with touches of a dark metallic underglaze.