“When I’m working with clay, I’m looking for a system of belief or ethics in the material. I want the material to be dynamic, to push and move and grow."


Oriel Zinaburg is a ceramic artist exploring the relationship between what is logically and mathematically constructed, and the fluidity of emotion.

Finding inspiration from the human figure, landscape and art history, he examine the physical law of the clay material. Working on several pieces simultaneously, he is continually looking for a response to the traditional vessel form based on the Japanese aesthetic of beauty in imperfection and irregularity.

His objects embody the characteristics of the creative act: an open-ended process where the final piece is not preconceived but the result of a series of unpremeditated actions. To retain this sense of open-endedness, he uses a collage-like technique in which the fragments are pieced together by intuition and chance. He starts the process by using press moulds and slab building techniques. Whilst the clay is still soft and wet, he tears, folds and distorts it. The materiality of the clay dictates the way in which the folds take shape. Every passing moment of creation informs the next, as do the clay’s properties and the forces to which it is subject.

The objects are being distorted so that only a vague hint of the familiar can be seen. The spontaneous arrangement of the deformed silhouettes start to embody a frozen moment of movement. A swirling abstractions, which generate challenging geometries, forms and shapes. Each piece is open to the viewer’s own experience and interpretation. And the viewer is encouraged to move around the object while exploring the various relationships between light and shadow, solid and void.


Oriel initially trained as an architect before practising ceramics in 2015. He lives and works in London

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