Miri Fleisher is an artist and teacher living in Israel. I came across her work recently on FaceBook and was so moved that I wrote to her and asked if she would participate in SoCalPotters. I was elated when she said yes! Her ceramic work is bold and thought provoking. Miri also works in handmade paper. The images of these pieces are striking. Obviously delicate to the touch but of such bold imagery that everyone can relate to on some level, I am honored to share her words with you.Why clay?
Well porcelain is my favorite material although in my subjects I do use also other materials such as; handmade papers, photographs, digital painting and whatever comes along. For me porcelain is a representative of clay, and clay is my preferred material out of ideology and pure love.
Porcelain seems to have very human like characteristics; its sensitivity and unexpected behavior, it has "memory" of every touch it gets, vulnerable as glass, strong as a rock ...well you can add more and more and never finish but the last one would be its nobility. This characteristic I wish would influence me …
Nobility is a character we could all employ more of. If not clay, what?
I use more materials to emphasize my subjects but porcelain will be always (until now :) ) my favorite, my center, as my mother...
What get’s you in the mood, what inspires you?
Poetry and literature (sometimes I start a subject from a poetic sentence and it stays as the name, Nature around me and in my garden, science fiction, holidays and free time from teaching...
Who is your favorite artist/artists and why?
My favorite artists would be all the known female artists, authors and philosophers I have ever learned about, read or met at museums.
I would not start naming them. All my spiritual mothers…
What’s your favorite cuss word?
It will be in Hebrew "laazazel" but I don't use it, because I usually blame myself...
What is your favorite pleasure?
Family and creating
What would you say to someone just getting started in ceramics who asks you for advice?
I would say: Ceramics is a wonderful material to express yourself, besides trying to earn money and please the public.
It has always been so, because the direct way of working with clay. Sometimes its commercial function influences its quality. It should not be so. Ceramic works must first of all be "good" and if they even succeed in being functional it will be "very good". If not, the criteria must always be as in "fine" art. Usually it is about proportions, balance, clear expression and all the terminology of the History of Art
Can you tell me about your process, when you go into the studio do you have a set idea or do you just go with the flow, let the universe guide you?
I usually work 3-4 hours a day, not including my teaching. I don't create a lot of products, and try to create each work as unique as I can. Sometimes I throw away what I don't like in order to be pleased with all of my work, but I do wait before throwing a piece that I don’t like. Sometimes that work will become important to the continuation.
I always work from ideas and try to stick to them. It does not mean that the works will be the same as the first (origina)l idea. On the contrary, I use some more materials and "attack" the idea with all the ways of working - figurative, abstract and pottery-like (pottery is for me a way of expression of culture as well as human body) All this research in porcelain and other materials create installations . In the last 10 years I started exhibiting in the form of installations. I have 35 years in ceramics, most of the time as a teacher and at times have taken part in group exhibitions. The last 10 years there have changes in my personal life and my ambition to show my art, burst forth...
As you can see in the following names my installations are autobiographical. But as the say in the theory of feminism - the personal is communal.
2001-This is my blood, this is my body
2002-My mother was an angel
2003-Train Lane 15, Haifa (the address of my childhood)
2005-Deady (father and child)
2008-To embryo and back Thank You Miri!