Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
My name is Daphna Mirzayof (Dorfzaun). I was born in central Israel and I served two years in the national service in Beit She’an. After the service, I guided excursions and studied various art courses, and completed industrial design studies at Hadassah College in Jerusalem. After I finished my studies, I worked for several years in design in several places. A few years later, I decided to return to school and took continuing education in ceramic design at Bezalel. After graduating I got married and lived in central Israel, I gave birth to two girls, but we felt that this was not our place. We looked for a place in the suburbs. After searching in the north and in the south, we decided to move to a small town in the Negev. A year later, we decided to move to the nearby town, called Yeruham. Since then we live in Yeruham, we have built our home in which we had 3 more children
With the move to the Negev, I decided to open a ceramics studio. In the early years, I mainly specialised in designing tiles and signs. A couple of years I started developing a line of products that are related to the area in which I currently live for more than a decade. In the collection, you can find plates in different sizes, cups, bowls, trays, with an Ibex print – Ibex is a protected animal typical of the area – as well as Judaica products, menorahs, Seder plates and candlesticks.
What inspired you to become an artist?
Since I was a girl, I loved to cut and create (and now I see some of it in my children). I have dealt with other areas but always returned to colors and shapes, I do not know how to define what I design or articulate, something about the seam.
What is your specialty?
Today I design and produce ceramic products, inspired by the desert in which I live. These Judaica products, menorahs, candlesticks, and Seder plates are some of the products that are made out of local clay.
How and where do you work?
I have a small studio near the house, there are advantages, it is possible to unload a kiln in the middle of the night, and also drawbacks… because the work in the house is not over and I can always put another machine and cook soup.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
In my case, it is of course a kiln. Without it all this would not have happened, even though in the beginning I have received quite a bit of help on the way, but a very good kiln is significant for the job.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
My inspiration comes from almost everything because my products are influenced by the nature – a beautiful blossom I saw on a trip for example. So any excursion to nature is inspirational, but even a good song can certainly inspire, or the meaning of the week’s Torah portion, I connect very much to the Hasidic Torah.
What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on menorahs and there are already the next products on my mind , which are vases and flower pots
What are your favourite items in your current collection?
In the Judaica series, the Chanukah menorah collage is my #1, I’ve sold dozens of them.
Plates – an Ibex plate of 11 cm diameter from which it all began, and it is my best-seller.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
Since I am mainly engaged in design it is easy for me to decide, there are also times and usefulness.
Do you do bespoke work?
Absolutely, yes. Sometimes clients want extra text, dedication and the like, or other requests – I am always happy to fulfill dreams.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
A Menorah; it is not exactly art but I remember it because it was after my son was born.
Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
I enjoyed attending an exhibition in Yeruham entitled “Storytelling Design”. It was dedicated to people who live in the area, each participant tells their story through an object they have created.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
I hope that, except working in the studio and developing and designing products, I will expand to more materials, and I will attend more exhibitions because it is great fun for me, and also a challenge.
Where can we find your work?