Tamar de Vries Winter works with metal and glass. This is my language. In fusing metal and enamel I integrate ancient and contemporary concepts and techniques.
I grew up in Israel and the Middle Eastern influences were crucial for my development as a jewellery designer and maker. Ancient cultures made a great impact on my artistic identity. The texture of the land, the Mediterranean colours and landscape, and the multi-cultural character of the people are reflected in my work. My interest in ceremonial objects centres on the relationship between the person and the object, marking a distinctive occasion. I create personal precious objects that signify an event, a memory and a celebration. Enamel enables me to express myself freely with colour and combine it with my earlier experience in jewellery design. As I construct, join and fuse the elements, the qualities of the material change, the soft material turns hard. Through this process I create three-dimensional objects that combine the unique nature of this ancient craft with my own personal statement. I work with a team of craftsmen skilled in various fields – from silversmiths and spinners to photographers and computer experts. I find it very rewarding to work in a community of specialized makers who through team work and exchange of ideas engage in this creative process. For the last seven years I have been a co-director of Studio Fusion – a London gallery dedicated to contemporary vitreous enamel
‘Wishing for Water’ Bowl
In this series of work, Tamar de Vries Winter was inspired by Incantation Bowls, also known as magic, demon or devil-trap bowls.
Inscribed in Aramaic, the nearly eighty surviving Jewish bowls from Sassanid Babylonia (226-636 CE), found by archaeologists, are an important source of historical knowledge about magical beliefs and practices.
These bowls, inscribed in a spiral beginning from the rim and moving towards the centre, were commonly placed under the threshold of houses, and in graveyards.
The text and drawing on these objects, with a message from a bygone world, tell a story of fear and desire for protection. The ‘Wishing for Water’ Bowl, composed of fragmented photographs of trees from Jerusalem, where Tamar was born, made into enamel transfers, tells her own story of concern: it is a response to the problem of uneven distribution and control of water in many parts of the Middle East.
Sunk bowl by Adrian Hope, enamel transfers (digitally produced) made from Tamar’s photographs, fused to sifted enamel surface. Painted with painting colours over fused transfers.