“There is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, clarity, and efficiency.” – Chief Designer for Apple Inc. Sir Jony Ives
Profound, enduring, even timeless, are perfect descriptions of the intuitively designed ceramics and jewelry by local artist Judith Amiel-Bendheim. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel, Judith holds a BA in Pharmacy and Pharmacology from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a MBA form Ono College in Tel Aviv. In Israel, Judith worked both as a hospital pharmacist and marketing manager for pharmaceutical companies. Both positions provided her with travel opportunities to a variety of countries worldwide. The discoveries in each culture’s history, art, architecture, customs, environments, and people formed the foundation for Judith’s unique and provocative design sense today.
Judith met her husband Paul, a native Arizonian, in Israel. They moved back to the Phoenix area a few years ago, at which point Judith decided to write a new chapter in her life. She realized her passion for ceramics and jewelry, longtime hobbies, could be turned into an opportunity for an artistic career. Judith communicates this time in her life as, “When a door is closed, a window is open.” She had always loved unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry, so this became the launching point for her exploration into clay and jewelry making. Soon, Judith had created a unique and very wearable collection of gorgeous, original pieces that family and friends could not wait to purchase. It didn’t take long before Judith expanded this enthusiasm and demand into her first business opportunity.
Adding to her theme of “wearable” sculptural ceramic pieces, Judith set out on her next project creating original serving dishes and dinnerware. This expansion was grounded in Judith’s love of cooking and her desire to “dress” her entertaining table with unique, individual, pieces of her creation. She reengaged her former skill set of throwing on a potter’s wheel, thus opening the “window” to an expanded artistic product line for home use. Her efforts proved to be an instant success and she quickly rose to one of the best sellers in the Arts and Crafts Fairs she participates in throughout the state of Arizona.
Judith strives to create pieces that will speak for themselves. She goes on to explain she favors the minimalist look captured in the sentiment that “less is more.” The influences in her work are the modernity of the Israeli culture. As Judith explains, “Tel Aviv is recognized as a center of fashion, Bauhaus architecture and contemporary art. Each time I travel to Israel, I visit the museums and art galleries, infusing my work with the historical and contemporary themes.” Her passion for subtle, simple beauty are also harvested from the landscape of her own desert garden. Here Judith finds the graceful lines of sprawling succulents, deep shadowy contrasts in the accordion textures and the vibrantly dancing colors of the desert blooms. Each essence will make its way through Judith’s inspiration into the lives of individuals connecting with life’s spirit through her clay creations.
Judith creates in two spaces, her home studio, equipped with a potter’s wheel, computer, as well as, endless books and articles for reference. In this space, the resources are in one place aiding in “efficient creativity.” As Judith reflects, “I am able to immediately take new ideas and present them in clay as jewelry or tableware.” She also takes advantage of the creative community at the Phoenix College studio where she enjoys interacting with students and faculty. Here, she learns new ceramic techniques, participates in glazing experiments, has access to tools not available in her home, and has the gas kiln for firing her pieces.
Yes, design is a journey of discovery. “Excellent design is not just what it looks like, but how it makes you feel,” Steve Jobs once said. Begin your journey for your unique design expression with a visit to artist Judith Amiel-Bendheim’s web site at www.ceramicsbyjudith.com or take a trip to one of the boutiques offering her exquisite original pieces; Objects in Scottsdale (www.objectsaz.com), Kiss Me Kate (www.kissmekate.com) and Made Art Boutique (www.madephx.com) both in Phoenix, and Weeds (www.weedsoncedros.com) in Solana Beach, California. Judith can be contacted directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at email@example.com.