Ruth Bar-Shalom “Raw”
Porcelain vase. Babu porcelain, cobalt stain and clear glaze.
I am a product of many cultures. I was born in Argentina, lived in Israel for a while in my twenties and came to the States to attend medical school. My practice as a physician (Naturopathic Medicine) took me first to Alaska- where I developed a deeper appreciation of the raw power of nature, and then to California. It was here, that Clay came into my life and took over in unexpected ways…
In ceramics, I look for the unexpected, different, combining elements that do not follow a traditional path. Mixing clays of different shrinking points, adding metal shavings to glaze, creating textures out of the most curious objects… Mixing the smoothness of porcelain with the roughness of wood or an uneven glaze surface…
My main inspiration comes from nature. Look in my pieces for the rugged cliffs of the California Coast or the Scottish cliffs. Find on the glaze surface the effervescence of sea foam, the undulating marks of kelp.
Whenever possible, I use alternative firing techniques- you can find the lovely marks the fire leaves on the Saggar and Raku fired forms, or the lovely texture the soda firing embed on the clay.
I hope that even a tiny part of the wonder and joy that nature and art bring into my life.