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Posts from the ‘Lapid Israel’ Category

Lapid Ceramics Reference Guide

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

The Lapid book is published! This is such exciting and long awaited news for collectors of Lapid Israel Pottery. I have written a brief history of Lapid pottery previously HERE which you might want to read before you read this post.  

After 8 plus years of extensive research by Kobi, the previously un-written story of this pottery is now properly catalogued, documented, and its story told. A story that came so close to being lost to history as so many potteries have in the past.

The book is thorough in its scope and breadth – covering everything from Lapid’s birth to its decline in the late 1980s. This first edition is in Hebrew only, but because of the beautiful design and photography, you can appreciate and learn a lot about Lapid simply from the photographs, promotional posters, illustrations, datelines, signatures and more. It is a hardback edition of 350 plus pages, and you don’t find many pottery reference books so beautifully designed as this one. 

….and that dust jacket is just genius!  – an unfolding chart of many of the Lapid shapes/forms – which are also found inside the book. 

One of the revelations to me was to find out the names of many of the designs that I have admired for years. Some of these designs have locally inspired names, such as “Ein Gedi”, “Carmel” “Negev’ and others are more general in nature like “Free” and “Arabesque”.

A thrill for me was to be able find out the names of many of the painters and artists who worked at Lapid and the dates they worked there. Lapid only started using decals on some of their ranges in the 1970s and 1980s (items such as dinnerware) but they never stopped producing their hand painted “Art Pottery”. 

While Lapid Pottery is popular, admired and collected in the West, over the past 8 years or so that I have been following the development of this book it has become apparent to me how important Lapid Ceramics is to the Israeli community from both a cultural and sociological perspective. It’s hard to think of any other pottery that is so important and significant to the people of its country. 

The book is available on eBay internationally if you search for “Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman”  or contact Kobi via the facebook page Lapid Ceramics. 

You can also find a very well written review/summary of the book and the story of Lapid pottery in English on the website of here and an interview with Kobi about the development of the book in Hebrew (use Google to auto translate) HERE

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

From: Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

Detail: Lapid Ceramics: A Melting Pot, Kobi Klaitman

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Lapid Pottery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel 1944-1990

Lapid Pottery, Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel 1944-1990

Lapid Pottery was formed in 1944 during British Mandate to Israel. The year 1949 was an Important year for the pottery when Dr. K. Moosberg became a main partner in the factory and the factory changed its original goal of making tiles and sanitary wares – to producing Art Pottery which is the Lapid Pottery most people are now familiar with.

In 1949 the Art Department was established at Lapid. Amongst the designers at Lapid over the years were Elspeth Cohen, Dr. Bertha Rosenthal, Ray Silverman &  Dvora Gazit. The designers were primarily responsible for the forms and shapes, and the head decorator the designs – although often it was a joint collaboration. A group of 7-8 decorators would then hand paint the designs onto the art pottery, making for subtle variations between the same base designs, and each piece unique. 

The earliest pieces I have seen from this pottery are around 1952, very glossy and nowhere near as sophisticated in design as work which soon followed once the pottery was more established, and began exporting.

Up until very recently there was little published in reference to Lapid Pottery. (As of 2021 there is a book – read about it here). For years the only reference I could find is a paragraph in the book “Art in Israel” by Benjamin Tammuz published in 1963 by Chilton Company

“Elspeth Cohen, designer for the Lapid factory , has also been responsible for some of the best Israeli ceramics. Her style is clean, austere and classical and in some ways reminiscent of contemporary Scandinavian design. It is unfortunate that Lapid is not equipped to produce large tableware, since her talent is admirable suited to this field”

However, In the past 7 years or so, much more of the history of Lapid is being documented, for a book, thanks to Kobi Klaitman in Israel whos father worked at the Lapid factory. Kobi has a facebook page going for Lapid Pottery, and the fascinating history of it is now unfolding. You can see the page HERE

Lapid was certainly influenced by Scandinavian and West German pottery of the time, which is probably what attracts me to it….but at the same time there is nothing else quite like it because some of the colours and designs show strong local influence of the colours and archaeology of its’ deserts.

What I also love about Lapid Pottery is the Modernist look of much of it I come across here in Australia.  Read more