My first art class at NYU sparked my desire to search for an artistic outlet that would allow me to express myself. However, this was set aside due to the necessities of raising a family. Once my family was grown and I retired from the business world, I decided to return to school to earnestly pursue an education in art.

I explored many mediums. However, when I took a class in ceramics and put my hands on the clay, I knew it was love at first touch. The love affair has continued ever since. Explorations in various construction techniques and finishes eventually led to my involvement with saggar.

In producing a saggar-fired piece, the sculpture is placed in a container called a saggar, into which various organic materials are added. The covered saggar is then fired in a kiln. The vapors of the burning materials yield colors and patterns, sometimes exquisite, sometimes dull--but always unique.

The clean lines of my sculptures provide an unimposing canvas onto which the patterns of the saggar firing are presented. But it is not enough to have a flat slab of clay. The form too must be an expression of the aesthetic. Just as the complex patterns yielded by the saggar firing engage the observer, I believe the form must push beyond symmetry. To create new forms that achieve a break in symmetry, while maintaining clean flowing lines, is a continuing challenge that has driven my growth.

To somehow orchestrate the results of the saggar firing is my biggest challenge. Although certain factors allow for some control, the results are unpredictable. I always experience great anticipation and excitement with the outcome. It is the challenge to create something of beauty that continues to drive me in my quest for the spectacular.

--Elsa Simon

[ Top of Page ]

The Art Work of Elsa Simon

Kimono - Sagar Fired