Redefining artistic freedom

“I think these sculptures are visual clues that enable us to decipher things that are deeper or hidden,” said Eva Avidar, referring to some of the pieces that comprise her many exhibitions. Avidar, who received her master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London, came from Israel to teach eight classes at The Clay Studio located at 139 N. 2nd St.

“You move in your own boundaries,” Avidar said. Avidar has been an artist all her life and, though she’s never tried to purposely rebel, she always had her own way of constructing art in school. It isn’t hard to see that she skips to her own beat as the exhibition slides changed from the end to the beginning.

“I’ll make not what I’m asked to do – only what I want to do,” Avidar said. Avidar is just one of the many lecturers hosted by The Clay Studio and is also one of the studio’s four guest artist-in-residences.

Some of her work includes an alligator cast made with resin and glass fiber. Others include clay moldings of shoes she found in her garden and a silicone rubber cast of a dove – which she attempted to make at least twelve times before completing an acceptable two.

“What is unique about The Clay Studio is that there is no hierarchy here,” said gallery coordinator Jasmine Zateeney. “You can come and get experience through a number of programs … we provide support to anyone interested in the ceramic arts.”

Zateeney also stressed that an artistic background is unnecessary when coming to The Clay Studio. “We can introduce clay to people with no experience and provide direction to those with more skill and understanding of the material.”

“If you see a lot of variety it means the school isn’t strict,” said Sigal Bentolila, who, like Avidar, was born in Israel and will begin the intermediate throwing class Oct. 4. “If they use a creative approach it is good. I think it’s important to have the freedom to evolve to wherever you want.”

Fall classes include figure sculpture, handbuilding with paper clay, independent studio and a variety of pottery courses.

The creative expression doesn’t stop there. The studio also offers workshops, such as form building and a glass bead and polymer
clay bead workshop.

The Clay Studio also offers classes for children such as clay for kids.

Kristin Granero can be reached at

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