One of the first memories as a first year student in Bezalel is the trip to the desert, organised by Didi Lin, who was then the head of the Ceramics and Glass department. All of us students and teachers alike spent 3 days on the Negev craters. We worked together, making environmental art – a term I was not familiar with back in the mid 90’s. The clay was all over us – we only used water to make it soft enough to work with. One big sculpture was made out of wood and paper and on the last night we burned it – that was the part conducted by Sharon Keren.
At the end of the first year in Bezalel I spent a year in Oxford, England. When we were back, in 1996 I had big decisions to make – the ceramics department was split into four – pottery, sculpture, glass and design. All of us students had to choose a main field and a complementary one. During the two years to come I changed my mind all the time until at the beginning of the fourth year, in 1999 I started making ceramic paintings: a technique I developed. My project was not accepted easily. Most of the teachers could not understand why I was painting in clay. My teachers were both from Ceramics and Fine Art departments. One of them, a leading painter said to me with much disrespect: “This is not painting!”. Others, from the ceramics department advised me to “go do my paintings on the 6th floor (fine art).
It is from Lidia Zavatsky, one of my dominant teachers, that I learned several things that still go with me – Firstly, do one thing, work in one technique – but know all you have to know about it, be a specialist. This phrase is always in my mind. I have been painting in oils since 2005 and I have learned the technique mainly through a daily struggle. Secondly, if you have an idea for a work- do it! otherwise you will be always thinking of it wondering what it would or could have looked like.
further reading about the technique of ceramic painting: Ceramics TECHNICAL no. 11 pp.60-61