In my work, I search for the point where opposite qualities meet, creating – for me – the perfect balance. To find this point, I play with contrasting ideas such as, man-made vs natural, geometric vs organic, hard vs smooth. I believe that it is in the moment when these opposing values converge that beauty emerges. These are the moments my work captures.
My forms begin as common shapes like spheres, cylinders and cubes. I use a mixture of subtle and dramatic changes to redefine the curves and edges of these shapes. Undoing the perfect geometry of a piece is how I aim to create the beauty and balance that I strive for.
I use a mixture of throwing and altering, hand building and slipcasting to create my work. The purity of porcelain allows me to create sharp edges and smooth curves, and the white hue allows for minimal distraction from the form. I take advantage of the tactile quality of porcelain by leaving the exterior of my pieces unglazed.
Yasha Butler is a ceramic artist who works in Brooklyn, NY. She currently is a resident artist at the Open Studios program at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan. She received a design degree from Cornell University in 2001. From 2004 to 2006 she apprenticed for the ceramicist Nuray Ada in Istanbul, Turkey. In 2008, she was selected to be a resident artist at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts (Newcastle, ME). She worked for three years at The Clay Studio (Philadelphia, PA) as a studio technician where she participated as an instructor and exhibited in a number of group shows. She participated in workshops at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts (Deer Isle, ME) and Penland School of Crafts (Penland, NC). Her work has been shown or is currently available at the Istanbul Cultural Foundation (Istanbul, TR), The Clay Studio (Philadelphia, PA), Tilde (Portland, OR), Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts – Alternatives Museum Shop (Wilmington, DE), Istanbul Modern Museum Store (Istanbul, TR) and online (www.yashabutler.com).
Born to a Turkish mother and an American father, Yasha spent her childhood in Istanbul on the Asian shore of the Bosphorus, leaving in 1997 to attend college in the United States. In 2003, she returned to Istanbul to setup her own studio and convert an Ottoman era alcohol factory into a small hotel (Sumahan On The Water). In 2006, she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she began to produce ceramics full time and in 2009 she moved to her current studio in Brooklyn, NY.