DVF Studio x Helen Levi
DVF Studio event: Meet Helen Levi at the DVF Soho store, 135 Wooster Street, NYC, on October 5th, 2017 at an evening party to celebrate her exclusive DVF Studio collaboration. Places are free but limited.
Native New Yorker Helen Levi works from her light and airy studio in Brooklyn, where she makes beautiful, functional, and colorful ceramics using a unique and distinctive dying technique.
“The more earth-toned colors—like the browns and reds—that’s just the natural color of the clay. I find it to be incredibly beautiful in its natural state.”
Brooklyn-based ceramicist Helen Levi isn’t your average New Yorker—preferring to take a longer, thoughtful, and precise route with her work, rather than the shortest and quickest path. There are no shortcuts when it comes to working with your hands.
Helen can spend days at a time immersed in her traditional artistic practice; massaging wet, terracotta hunks of clay into delicate dishes, spinning inanimate lumps into elegant vessels. “I’m more inspired by the natural colors of clay than I am with [color] glazing,” she tells us. If she does decide to alter the natural color of the clay, she’ll use stains rather than dyes, adding a raw powdered stain directly to liquid mixtures of clay—or slips, as they’re called. “The more earth-toned colors—like the browns and reds—that’s just the natural color of the clay. I find it to be incredibly beautiful in its natural state.”
A pragmatic artist, Levi prefers to work within familiar territory, honing her expertise. As such, she works mostly with stoneware, returning again and again to this material, enjoying its natural and forgiving properties.
Irrespective of the beauty of her tableware, she rates function highly. “I don’t consider myself much of a sculptor,” she says. “And it’s so liberating; when I was in college studying photography, it was much more an expression of a personal idea. And in a way, it made rejections that much more heartbreaking.”