Two girls, one about eight years old and the other about two years older; sitting with their legs crossed opposite a potter’s wheel. Concentrated, their fingers move and create a vessel that will be entirely their own, out of the lump of clay turning between their legs. How beautiful it is to watch creation in process. The transition of thought and imagination, passed through the fingers to the matter slowly changing its shape, surrendering to the young artists’ will.
Ziva Julius has been creating in ceramics for the past 20 years. She has a degree in architecture, and in recent years has been residing in Eilon. She came here after living for 15 years in New York and California where she studied art and specialized in ceramics. Now she allows the girls to deal with the wet lumps, and seldom comments on their work. She has a large studio with two potter-wheel stations. Children come here all the time; adults too; some from Kibbutz Eilon, where the studio is located, many others from neighboring communities.
Ziva’s studio looks like a real ceramics plant. The shelves are loaded with more or less useful artifacts, clay sculptures in various stages of creation as well as raw materials. A pleasant smell of moist clay is in the air, and an atmosphere of creation. Here, inside the studio, many years ago food was prepared for all kibbutz members; this kitchen produced three meals a day. Now it produces ceramic tableware. The artifacts are all safe for use, uniquely designed and contain no lead.
“I like it when people come to the studio to work” Ziva declares. “I am happy with those who come for successive workshops, and just as happy with families and even individuals that come for a one time experience. They finish working on their artifacts and go home. I put their work in the kiln and send it to them by mail. In a few days they will have a nice surprise.”
Ziva’s studio offers two hour meetings, with advance coordination. Groups of up to 20 people are welcome as well.