From afar, Zemer Peled’s floral sculptures look soft and inviting to the touch—but viewer beware, these beautiful blooms are actually made from thousands of ceramic shards. These artworks, currently on view at London’s COLLECT Art Fair, are part of the Israeli artist’s exploration of the “beauty and brutality of the natural world.” Peled is involved in every step of her unique handcrafted installations, from the initial firing and glazing of clay to the assembly of the shattered shards.
Peled’s sculptures aren’t limited to just blooms; the artist also makes large-scale installations that are inspired by sea creatures or other organic forms. “The word ceramics usually evokes small items you can hold in your hand,” said Peled to Oprah. “But I’m most interested in making pieces that are enormous.”
Peled begins each piece by flattening wet clay into large and thin sheets with a slab roller. The sheets are then stained or fired before Peled uses a hammer to smash the sheets into smaller pieces. The shards are finished in multiple colors and patterns; however, Peled primarily uses shades of blue cobalt—a color commonly found in traditional Japanese pottery—in her work.