What do you do with the shattered pieces of ceramic resulting from broken ceramic items? Obviously, you throw them in the garbage. However, Israeli artist Zemer Peled has found an ingenious way to use these ceramic shards. She uses them to create sculptures that depict nature in the form of blooming flowers, stunning sea creatures, and much else.
Incidentally, Peled doesn’t go around collecting ceramic shards, but uses a slab roller to create sheets of clay. She then stains them, fires them in a furnace and smashes them to shards with a hammer! It’s with these shards that she creates her incredible pieces of art. She uses blue cobalt stain, typically found in the traditional Japanese pottery.
It all started when Peled, as an 8-year-old, got the opportunity to bring down a wall of her house. She still remembers grabbing a hammer and smashing the wall. However, it was her creative instinct, that years later, made her use a hammer to create ceramic shards and use them in an innovative way.
Peled got introduced to art in her 20s, when she underwent art therapy as a result of a break up. She went on to enroll into London’s Royal College of Art, UK, where she earned a master’s degree in ceramics. She was instantly drawn to clay. According to her, it responds touch, movement and emotions. She began experimenting with ceramic shards, trying to emulate nature.
Peled states on oprah.com, “From a distance, the sculptures look soft. But up close, you realize they’ve got bite.” Handling sharp ceramic shards isn’t easy. She always suffers nicks and cuts using them. Despite this, she remains passionate about this form of art.
Peled’s works have been displayed internationally in many art galleries and museums. She has also featured in many magazines and other international publications. She’s based in the US.