Judy Paikin Ceramicist
Judy Paikin is a Safed based artist. She has worked in many different professions but it is her present career as a ceramicist that gives her the most satisfaction.
Judy Paikin never expected to be a professional artist. Judy worked in many different types of work including in educational administration, property management and as a house painter. No matter what professional work she was involved in she always created with her hands and was involved in some craft or art project. Judy found clay and when she began to create ceramics she found her calling.
Judy comes from a family of carpenters, cabinet makers, builders and painters on both sides of her family, generations who worked with their hands. She often includes images of buildings in her work -- for example a spice box that is shaped like a house and has hand-carved details of a building on each of its four sides. Although she works in with clay, she still considers herself a builder.
Judy explains that she loves the feel of clay as well as the different steps and processes that are required to produce a piece of ceramic art. These include the design, painting, building, carving and fine details of creating a piece of ceramic art.
Judy is what is termed a hand-builder. She doesn't work on a potter's wheel but rather rolls out slabs of clay to different thicknesses and then cuts them and builds them into the shapes and forms that she envisions.
Judy's pieces are made of earthenware clay, fired at a relatively low temperature (1040C). She works with this material at a low fire. At higher temperatures, the colors melt and blend together or burn off completely but at a low temperature she is able to achieve the bright, vibrant colors that she envisions. She considers herself a painter on clay.
Judy focuses on Judaica such as covers for mezuzahs, menorahs, Kiddush cups, tzedakah boxes and washing cups. She finds that building a piece by hand gives her a wider variety of types of forms that she's able to create.
Judy has been working with clay for approximately eight years and feels that she doesn't have any choice other than to work with clay. She says "If I’m kept away from it for a period of time, I get itchy and impatient. My hands need to be in contact with the stuff. I have to work with clay."
Judy feels that living in Safed is a natural inspiration to create. The beauty of the mountains and the sky combined with the esthetics of the charming old stone buildings serves as her foundation for her work.
Judy maintains a permanent exhibition at the Miriam's Well Gallery, the Women's Art Collective in Tzfat. The Art Collective includes the works of eight women who exhibit together, representing different media. The unity that the gallery creates includes financial collaboration, shared advertising and partnering in staffing the gallery as well as supporting and advising each other. The gallery includes Judy's work in ceramics as well as photography, silver jewelry, puppets, painting, embroidery and glass-fusion and stained glass pieces.