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Paintings on Pottery

Some examples of scores of original acrylic paintings done on hand-made low-fire hebron pots in a large range of styles, colors and shapes.


by David Moss

The origin of this group of works was a casual conversation I had in Santa Fe. An acquaintance from the Jewish community there has a hand-colored tile gallery in which he also sells some Judaic tiles. He asked me to do some designs for him. He liked my suggestion that they be done in a “southwestern” style and told me to send him some designs. I bought a number of books on native American pottery of the southwest and started working on it once I was back in Israel. I loved learning about the style since I have a long and deep connection with this region of America. I first came to Santa Fe in 1964 and lived there for four years while I was in college. This was exactly the period when I became intensely Jewishly committed, started to learn Hebrew, etc. Working in this style began to bring together many wonderful memories for me.
David Moss Pottery
Then, one day as I was walking down Derech Bet Lechem, I noticed some Hebron planters at the nursery. Something drew me to them. I went in, bought a few and began to paint them. Something definitely clicked; it was love at first sight. The pottery surface took the paint beautifully. I loved working on objects I could cradle in my lap, hold and turn, rather than the two dimensional work I’d done until then. Ideas began to flow and I painted pots as quickly as I could. Part of what was so lovely for me was that instead of my typical three to ten year projects, these were pieces of limited scope in which one idea could be worked out in a couple days and I could go on to the next one.

The excitement of working in this new form reminded me of my early professional years when I was reviving the art of the hand done Ketubah. Both then and now the creation of each new piece allowed for the exploration of whole new directions. I drew inspiration from a very broad range of sources as I mined and reworked diverse historical or folk styles. There was great joy and exhilaration in the creation of these pieces.

Please note that each of these works is an original, acrylic painting and should be cared for just as you would treat a painting. Do not put water in them. Handle them carefully. Dust them gently. I’ve found that a feather duster works well a portfolio of prints based on these pots has also been published.

See my Pueblo Portfolio. The pottery, together with the Pueblo Portfolio, were exhibited at Yeshiva University Museum in 2004.