• Issue
  • #
  • 2
  • raw

Preface

Video artwork at the homepage:
Roi Carmeli, One Game Only, 2010
Riikka Haapasaari, To Create ,2013

Dr. Eran Ehrlich – Head of the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design

The second issue of Tripod – an academic, peer-reviewed journal of the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design – warrants a double celebration. It is not obvious that we are able to continue this important project. For this to happen, a long and strenuous fundraising effort is needed to enable us to maintain and expand the principles by which Tripod stands. I would like to thank Dafna Kaffeman, the editor of this issue, for her diligent and committed work.

The principles underlying Tripod stem from the craft practice and from its current state. The first principle is the creation of an intellectual and conceptual space that allows the formulation of the various fields of craft. We believe that craft is a field whose practice is also a fascinating and abundant platform for formulating new ideas in relation to cultural, economic-social and political space. Today’s craft – more than ever, through its connection with cutting-edge technologies – can offer a new model that challenges and questions existing cultural, socio-economic and political models, especially in light of the economic crisis of the economic-political model of our time.

To challenge existing conventions and assumptions, a thinking is required that is based on alternative assumptions that are expressed through new concepts and/or the reinterpretation of existing ones. Tripod is meant to become a stage that allows for the continuous reformulation of these concepts through their craft context and through their use – creating a different understanding and reading of reality. The concept of craft as a conceptual platform presents us with a challenge: How can it make an impact in a world whose space is technologically and globally (ecologically) defined? Therefore, it was clear for us even more when laying the foundations for the journal that another principle must guide us, that is, we must be a digital journal in an unlimited and international circulation, i.e., in English. However, because of the craft point of departure, the local aspect, with its emphases and contexts, is also clear to us and so we insist on a journal written in the language of its authors, enabling the local context to produce meanings with international implications or inspirations. To enhance and develop this aspect of Tripod, we are pleased to announce that as of this issue, Tripod will be a trilingual journal in Hebrew, Arabic and English. I thank Ms. Rivka Saker and Mifal HaPais (National Lottery) for their donations toward the publishing of this issue.

I believe that Tripod journal is an important first step in the creation of an arena where ideas can be forged from within the craft practice, which may have broad international sway, and I invite you to join us in this issue as well.

Dafna Kaffeman – Editor

The publication of the second issue of the Tripod magazine of the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design is an exciting moment. It is indicative of the stability and continuity of an important project, a product of a new concept outlined by Dr. Eran Ehrlich, Head of Department. As the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design, in which the journal was created, represents multifaceted learning based on diverse stimuli and experiences, so does the journal’s represent various approaches to the theme of the second issue – Rawness. The papers published in this issue reflect the Department’s multifaceted and broad of the department, in which many unique courses allow the growth and thriving of the craft fields, most notably clay and glass. This issue reflects two fundamental approaches in the Department’s curriculum. Firstly, Dr. Zivia Kay’s paper lays out for us a conceptual project that serves as the basis for a course given at the Department of Ceramics Design in the first year, which is the basis for continuing student activities up to their fourth year. In this paper, we are introduced to students’ worldviews at the beginning of their artistic journey and offered a challenging examination of unique work methodologies developed in the Department in accordance with the new curriculum. The paper reveals natural processes for translating raw concepts held by the students, when they begin their studies, into plastic representations, which are charged with ideas and meanings.

Secondly, the journal manifests the second- and third-year’s research workshop. This research workshop produces a material and theoretical phenomenological research environment. This two-year course is unique in the Bezalel Academy and in academies around the world in that it provides a deep foundation for students to create research-based learning that confronts them with the possibility of translating their feelings and knowledge foundations into critical and conscious writing within contemporary art-design discourse. I am pleased to include in the journal three studies coming out of the research workshop dealing with different fields that are all related to the theme of this issue, Rawness.

Adding another language in which the issue is published, Arabic, is another reason to celebrate its publication. This issue includes two studies addressing important issues that link clay with Arab culture – Amal Ikirimawi’s research deals with traditional pottery in Hebron and traces its origins and development. The author also tries to extend the work with the Hebron clay through a series of experiments conducted in the Department as part of her continuing research.

Another study, by Areej Ashhab, a graduate of the Bezalel Department of Architecture, deals with the by-product of the Jerusalem stone manufacturing, and the way it can be reused, by examining the subject historically and by conducting experiments to aimed at reducing this by-product and recycling the stone. This study also related to the current approach taken by the Department in relation to climate change and its attempt to direct its activity toward sustainable solutions.

We think of the raw as primordial, void of cultural values, in the most primitive and pure state – as such we are drawn to this state and seek it. The materials in which we create, the clay and the glass, are the catalyst for this feeling. It is interesting to examine the various references expressed in the papers in relation to the two materials – glass and clay. The desire to return to the primordial-raw phase is at the heart of Galia Armeland’s visual paper, which opens the issue. Armeland expands on the desire to return to playing in the mud, in the primordial-raw clay, and the connection to the world of play by observing the works of various artists who set out from this idea, or whose work is imprinted by rawness.

Dave Hickey writes in his paper “Heart of Glass”, “Glass existed in language before it existed in the world. Its physical attributes – its aspects of transparency, translucency, reflection and refraction – probably existed for centuries before the material itself was created”.11 Dave Hickey (2010). ... Henrietta Eliezer Brunner also seeks to engage in her essay with the raw aesthetic as expressed in the field of glass in modern and contemporary culture. In her paper, Eliezer Brunner deals with the energy that exists in the material and that way it is processed into the glass artwork. It is the raw energy and desire for its preservation as reflected in the work of many creators in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This paper is the first to deal with glass through this prism of the concept of rawness as a conceptual process in the artist’s work.

Prof. Muli Ben-Sasson deals with the concept of raw with respect to the first raw materials – as expressed in the secret of creation – the creation of man. The paper “Dust of the Earth” examines the raw materials from which man was created and the dialogue between material and creator in the Bible. This paper opens the door to a novel reading of exegetical and philosophical literature and of ancient traditions of the Eastern cultures of antiquity.

The examination of language as a raw material for creation can be examined in a different way, as demonstrated by Dr. Tal Frenkel Alroy’s paper, which lays out a visual-verbal conception of artists from the glass and clay fields. In her paper, Frenkel Alroy examines the power of language as material in the creator’s hand. Citation, transcription, and metaphor serve as reference points for examining the material moves in which the two creators engage and from which they create their visual worlds. This paper also enables the examination of the different material approaches of the two artists – both in clay and in glass.

Dr. Naomi Meiri-Dann presents to us the origin of floor mosaics and the duality of placing them for display on walls. Meiri-Dann claims in her paper that these mosaics were exiled for display purposes and calls for their return to their natural place, as floor mosaics. In her paper, she focuses on place-dependent art and mosaic art and its evolution over the years, from the Middle Ages to present day.

As mentioned earlier, this issue of the journal introduces four student researches developed at Bezalel. Apart from the researches I mentioned at the beginning of this introduction, Sivan Pais’s research is concerned with the connection between clay and glass, which many tend to explore and study due to the proximity of the two materials. In her research, Pais devises a methodical process of examining various formulas to obtain a material that will cover the glass and allow a new variety of color and form. These options are available to all creators and are based on elementary materials in the worlds of ceramics. This study echoes the departmental position of exploring possible relationships between clay and glass.

Ella Fisher Leventon’s research deals with the lens as a raw material – it provides us with an in-depth study of the lens structure and philosophical treatment of the gaze through the lens by twentieth-century thinkers and creators. Her study examines the change that the photographic lens has brought about in the perception of subjective gaze. Fisher Leventon also presents us with a practical study that involves lens production in the hot workshop of the Department of Ceramics and Glass Design and photographing with these lenses and various cameras ranging from analog to digital.

This study concludes the second issue of the journal.

I wish to thank the Department Head, Dr. Eran Ehrlich, for inviting me to become a key part of this important project, which echoes similar projects in academies and educational institutions around the world and builds an infrastructure for in-depth academic discussion in the fields of clay and glass. I also wish to thank all the writers for their effort and investment, and all those who were part of this publication.

 

Issue 2 – Raw

Text editing and translation: Ran Cohen
Arabic Translation: Roaa Translation
UX and Design: Elinor Shalem
Website Building: Felix Wasserstein
Assistant Editor: Ella Gutman
Assistant: Moran Lee Yakir

   [ + ]

1. Dave Hickey (2010). “Heart of Glass”. In Josiah McElheny, A Prism. New York: Skira Rizzoli.
Back to Top