Sasha Bergmann Lichtenstein

Judaica - Potter - Collaborative Artist - Art Educator
(617) 923-2669
Boston Area


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Artist's Statement

I create pottery for Jewish ritual and for daily use; my goal is to bring beauty and joy to whatever I produce. I am inspired by the Jewish commandment of “Hiddur Mitzvah:” whenever a ritual (mitzvah) requires a physical object for its performance, that object should be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. In my artwork I strive to create stunning ritual objects that beautify and enhance a range of Jewish practices as well as a morning ritual of drinking coffee in a hand-made mug.

Working with porcelain on the potter’s wheel, I alter my pots into unique forms, then decorate with bright colored glazes. Each piece is unique and sensually rewarding for an intimate experience.
I aim to bring a spirit of joy, expression, and even sensuality to Jewish holidays – from Shabbat (the weekly Sabbath) to the yearly celebrations of Sukkot, Chanukah, Passover; and the deed of Tzedakah (righteousness and giving charity). I make ritual objects for special events that are comfortable and easy to use. They are meant to be accessible yet to embody preciousness. I want whoever uses my artwork to feel more joy, abundance, and beauty in the ritual observance through the form itself.

In my work I emphasize fluid movement and enhanced color. My aesthetic reflects the movement of the body, sensuousness, and the feminine. I love the effects of movement and energy that I can express in the clay.

I work with an electric kiln at medium range (Cone 6), which gives me the ease and simplicity of working in my home, and to be near my children. I want as few toxins and as little energy used during firings for sustainability and to secure our future. I choose mid-range because I also want my work to be strong and durable, while also attempting to mimic the richness that high-fire kilns can produce.

The repetition of ritual and of making pots both reflect the small, yet important tasks of being a mother that can be mundane or ecstatic, depending on my perspective. Having been a mother for more than five years now, I love the rhythm of pottery: creating during their nap time, trimming after they go to bed at night. Diaper after diaper, meal after meal, or teaching a skill 200 times before they understand – the same persistence is required to make a really good pot. Also, the hands-on sensuality of mothering is like molding clay, during which I experience great moments of control and beauty, followed quickly by moments of chaos and frustration.

I am blessed to have others who share their joy of Judaism, mothering, and creativity with me. I consider it an honor to express my love of Shabbat, Judaism, and life, through my pottery.