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. Originally 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.To 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.At 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 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. After 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.
During the residency, she also learned to work with metal, especially cast iron.
Previously 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.It 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.