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.
I have only ever found one published reference to Lapid Pottery, which 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”
In the past 7 years or so, much more of the history of Lapid is being documented, 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 is certainly reminiscent of both Danish and West German pottery at the time, which is probably what attracts me to it….but at the same time there is nothing else quite like it. What I love about it is the pure Modernist nature of it – with the wonderful patterns, colours and designs. Read more