This collection was inspired by the beautifully designed cast iron manhole covers that dot the streets of Jerusalem. Emblazoned with the official seal of the municipality of Jerusalem—the iconic Lion of Judah—they are a physical reminder of the closing words of the Haggadah, “L’shana Haba B’yerushalayim—Next Year in Jerusalem. The collection comprises 18 original works of art on bisque fired clay, handmade from a press mold of a manhole cover just outside the Nachlaot studio of ceramic artist Chaya Esther Ort.
The Kabbalah of Kintsugi
Many of the seder plates in this collection emerged from the kiln cracked or broken, and the artist used the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi to repair them. Kintsugi celebrates the beauty and truth of imperfection and repair. Fixes are done using resin and powdered gold, resulting in an even stronger and more precious piece of art than it was at first. With this collection there was an unusually high percentage of breakage, which the artist found meaningful—a symbol of the splitting of the Red Sea and of Jerusalem’s history of destruction and rebuilding since the destruction of the first Temple in 586 BCE.
Niv is delighted to share eight of the works. You can see the rest of the collection here.
Transparent glaze on marbled pink and white clay hewn in the Negev desert, accented with 22 karat gold.
The vibrant colours of life in Jerusalem inspired the surface decoration on this plate, handmade from cream coloured Israeli clay.
The iconic lion of Judah is surrounded by jewel-tone concentric circles symbolizing the unity and diversity that is Jerusalem.
Watercolour style painting of the Western Wall (Kotel) hand painted in a spring palette on Israeli clay.
Handmade of white Israeli clay, the artist used her own proprietary techniques to layer multiple glazes of midnight blue, dark teal, turquoise techelet blue, and bronze.
Handmade tray of white Israeli clay with translucent underglaze and red and yellow iron oxides, inspired by the stark vistas of the Negev desert.
Cobalt blue glaze on bisque fired Israeli clay, with transparent overglaze.
Translucent turquoise glaze on white Israeli clay, with 22 karat gold accents on alternate concentric circles, edges and emblem, and Kintsugi.
Header image of Seder plate by Chaya Esther Ort.
Chaya is an up and coming Canadian-Israeli ceramic artist has been getting attention for her extraordinary functional art, in Israel and abroad. She uses classic and eclectic hand building techniques including coil, pinch and slab to shape items that serve as canvases for her unique Judaicart, serving ware and jewelry in organic lines. Using the clay of Israel’s Negev desert as canvas, she creates functional art for everyday life inspired by the land, the life and the spirit of Israel. See her full range at kiyorstudio.com.