Meet The Artist: Sharon Binder of Sharon Binder Art

© Sharon Binder

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I discovered a love of text and letters while studying fine art at Queens College, and their eternal meaning using watercolors and gouache. The challenge was combining Hebrew and English calligraphy, graphics and illustration as an integral part of the meaning of the painting; Ben Shahn being an early inspiration of trying to incorporate these elements into design with typography, contemporary graphics, fiber arts and painting. Calligraphy and illustration are the mediums I have applied to the creation of major works for the home, institutions, and synagogues.

Wall hangings, murals, ceramic, fabric, metal and vitrage have been used in the creation of commissioned work. I have exhibited widely in New York, Toronto, and Jerusalem. My work is in private collections in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada, Japan, and Israel. Specially commissioned pieces have been presented to such dignitaries as the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the late King Hussein of Jordan. Parochet and shulchan cover for the Moshe Saba Masri Synagogue in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Medical Tower at Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem commissioned by Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization, special presentation by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists of Arba Emahot (hand pulled screen print) to Supreme Court Associate Justice Elena Kagan at the US Supreme Court and the latest presentation to Lord Michael Levy of London.

Why do you do what you do and how did you get started in the first place?

I have had a love affair with letters, words and all its nuances from a very young age. With the revival of calligraphy and ancient manuscripts, I began learning English calligraphy in Toronto with world renown Alf Ebsen at the Handwriters Guild (now know at the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto) and Nona Brown at Seneca College. I became a member of the Calligraphers Association in Toronto which exposed me to workshops given by world renown artists, Donald Jackson, Sheila Waters, Charles Pearce, Thomas Ingmire, etc. I then began applying this to Hebrew calligraphy when we moved to Israel. My love of Biblical text and Israel was a natural connection for new interpretations and applying contemporary techniques to my work.

What is your specialty?

My specialty is design on all kinds of surfaces. It had evolved with the advent of computers and printing on all kinds of surface depending on the design project. It has taken me in many different directions; three dimensional work, fiber arts, textile design, design on glass/vitrage, ceramics/tiles, wood and metal.

How and where do you work?

Mainly in my studio in the Artist’s Colony in Jerusalem

What is the most indispensable item in your workshop/studio?

Pencil, paper, brush and paints.

Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?

I live and work in the most beautiful and exciting city, Jerusalem, and everywhere I go inspires me to find new meaning in life. Themes: Women in Jewish history, new interpretations of Biblical text, illustrated letters and words, nature

What projects are you currently working on?

Creating 7 challah covers from a wedding dress worn by two sisters to be given to their children.

What is/are your favourite item/s in your current collection?

· Stories that are created for vessels that are my “ethical wills” for my children. Housewives and Heroines: Two Sisters Journey- an accordion pleated book

· Parochet for the new synagogue in the Sarah Wetsman Davidson Medical Tower

· Tehillim series

How do you know when a piece is finished?

That is one of the hardest questions I struggle with, when to stop! Sometimes you feel it in your bones and sometimes its sheer guess work and deadlines.

Do you do bespoke work?

Yes I do commissioned work for large and small work.

What was the first artwork you ever sold?

A ketubah.

Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?

Parochet for the new synagogue at Hadassah Hospital, Ein Kerem, commissioned by Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization.

What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?

To bring joy and meaning into people’s lives with the beauty of Jerusalem and Israel.

Where can we find your work?

My website: www.sharonbinderart.com

Facebook: Sharon Binder artist

Etsy: sharonbinderart

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