Ester Beck

Artist Statement

I create abstract sculptural ceramic vessel shapes with concern for movement, flow and texture. I try for my pieces to convey a dynamic act of creation, and a feeling as if the action is caught in a particular moment. "Process" is for me an important as the aesthetic result of the final piece, a process somewhere between spontaneity and control.

I developed a particular way of creating my objects, hammering, incising, stretching, layering, starting from blocks of clay. This method lends itself to the amorphic dynamic shapes I see to form. It is a method reminiscent of action painting, executed within one continuous movement like in Japanese caligraphy. It is a process which moves between control and loss of control. (2018)

-- Ester Beck


I am, as many collegues exploring clay over many years, on a journey and constant search. I changed from my first career as clinical Psychologist when the fascination with clay took over my life, concommitant with creating a family (plus three girls), over 35 years ago. My aim was to be a good craftsperson and my love was the wheel. Not having gone through any formal accredited ceramic institution, but through 4 years of evening classes in pottery, I supplimented the lack with many workshops to further my skills and knowledge. I went to see any ceramic exhibition I could, inside and outside of Israel (on frequent trips), and read through any available ceramic magazine and literature, thus over the years familiarizing myself quite well with the international scene. Gradually after many years of throwing, I needed to explore further possibilities of shape and looseness, thus slowly evolving from the wheel and its strictures, to a freestyle technique which I developed for myself: starting to work from big blocks of clay (first still on the wheel till they became too big), using hammers, spatulas, cutting wires, fists, whatever let me get to the shapes I wanted to create. I like the continuity between the clay and my body movement, a flow.

I devide my life for years between the studio and my involvement with the Israeli ceramics community, through activity within the ceramics association and now at the Benyamini Center (board member and Library and Archive director). It fits my worldview of balance between self-centeredness and outword-centeredness. Being a member of the IAC allows me the contact with the global clay community.

— Ester Beck