Elinor Portnoy – the kid in the ceramic candy store

Elinor Portnoy during Kohler Arts Industry residency 2017

Elinor Portnoy is no stranger to natural materials. When she started the Arts Industry residency at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA, she ventured into a new dimension in her creative endeavor. Elinor Portnoy ceramic at Kohler Arts Industry residency 2017Originally from Israel, where she experimented with sand, Elinor now tackled enamel powder and dripping water to create new patterns on ceramics. A process that allowed her to find her calm.Elinor Portnoy at Kohler Arts Industry residency 2017To be immersed in the busy environment of the factory was at first a rather overwhelming experience. For a single artist such as Elinor, it was a challenge to focus and to navigate the distractions in a way that the day would be productive.Elinor Portnoy ceramic enamel powder and water at Kohler arts industry residency 2017At the same time, the now London-based product designer and artist learned to appreciate that there was always someone around to help and to show her how to manufacture something. In the end, she found the factory environment very inspirational and efficient as everything is under one roof.
Elinor Portnoy at Kohler arts industry residency 2017Elinor chose to work with ceramics, enamel powder, combining art and design as well as exploring the crafts and materials. She chose minimal and basic shapes in order to let the material take center stage. Elinor Portnoy ceramic at Kohler arts industry residency 2017After having worked as a 3D modeling designer constantly sitting in front of a computer, the work in the factory and the studio gave her an opportunity to rediscover the materials and the making.
Elinor Portnoy at Kohler Arts Industry residency 2017 cast ironDuring the residency, she also learned to work with metal, especially cast iron.

Elinor Portnoy at Kohler arts industry residency 2017Previously the young artist displayed her own creations that she produced in parallel as being employed as an industrial designer at the London Design Festival, the Milan Design Week, the Ambiente Messe in Frankfurt.Elinor Portnoy at Kohler arts industry residency 2017It is particularly interesting how Elinor works with the fluidness of materials, marbling, and glass. If given the chance, she would like to realize the many ideas and inspirations she gained in Wisconsin in a repeat residency.

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