Johnathan Hopp was born and raised in the town of Rehovot, Israel, where he spent much time wandering the orange groves, and eventually studied art in high-school. After completing the army service Johnathan traveled to the US, where he received an undergraduate diploma in industrial design from the Rhode Island School of Design. After a short internship at Marcel Wanders' sudio in Amsterdam, he returned to Israel and began experimenting in ceramics. Johnathan is currently enrolled in the masters' program at Bezalel Academy. In his Yafo based workshop he continues to design and manufacture ceramic products and objects using a variety of manual techniques.
Design spielWhat interests me most in design, is its relationship to our surroundings. Where does inspiration for a new object come from? Is function really the prime initiator of form? It's believed that form follows function, but it's also accepted that form is born out of a visual-sensual dictionary of images, objects and spaces. If so, then, one's place is an important factor in the creation and interpretation of form, no less than function.Another important issue for me is the "Properness" of design objects. As opposed to art, which is allowed, indeed expected, to be rude, ugly and inappropriate, design is expected to be sweet, pretty, polite and tasteful. In my work I enjoy prodding these boundaries and challenging these expectations.
Work and design processMost of my work these days involves ceramics, and many of the objects are made by slip-casting, meaning pouring a liquid ceramic material into a plaster mold.I usually start designing with photographs, and manipulations of photographs. I then make some paper mock-ups and models, until I feel confident enough to make a plaster, wood or plasticine model for casting. Occasionally I have a craftsman make the model or the piece for me, when I don't have the equipment or the skills necessary for the job. The model is then duplicated in a RTV silicone material, and plaster molds are made of the silicone part. Ceramic slip is cast into the mold, then glaze is applied and sometimes ceramic decals are used on the glaze.