Avital Sheffer across space and time

Avital Sheffer in her studio in New South Wales, Australia, 2022

Avital Sheffer is an Australian-based ceramicist, who creates anthropomorphic and architectural earthenware vessels enriched with calligraphic patterning. Born and educated in Israel, Sheffer brings a deep engagement with the rich and multi-faceted cultures of the ancient Middle–East to her work. The complex histories, mythologies and iconographies of this world inspire and inform her designs.

Avital Sheffer, Arista VIII, 2022, hand-built, glazed and stencilled earthenware, 41 x 33 x 15 cm (left)

Avital Sheffer, Cantaro VIII, 2022, hand-built, glazed and stencilled earthenware, 37 x 29 x 15 cm (right)

'I was always a maker: of houses, landscapes, textiles and garments. Looking back it occurs to me that a "common thread" going through all of these engagements was a curiosity and passion for disappearing traditions... I guess some of these sensibilities reincarnate in my ceramic work.' Avital Sheffer

Avital Sheffer in her studio in New South Wales, Australia, 2022

Sheffer makes use of traditional hand-forming techniques to construct her elegantly restrained, large-scale vessels. The generosity and strength of the form is then balanced by Sheffer's deployment of refined detail and delicate patterning. The clay vessels are dry-glazed through multiple firings, until the surface is ready to receive a tracery of stencilled motifs, applied with a range of coloured oxides. Sheffer's work speaks of ancient wisdom in a voice that is both unique and contemporary.

Avital Sheffer, Kulmus V, 2022, hand-built, glazed and stencilled earthenware, 59 x 30 x 14 cm

Click here to see a selection Avital Sheffer's new work

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