Jennifer Wankoff

Inspired by themes of Judaism, Israel and its flora, Jennifer Wankoff’s work includes a selection of wheel thrown, hand-built and hand painted Judaica pieces, as well as ceramics for the home. In her booth you will find kiddush cups, candlesticks, challah plates, havdalah sets, Netilat Yadaim (hand washing cups), unique chanukiot, dreidels, seder and matzah plates, tzedakah boxes, mezuzot, hamsa wall hangings and more. Jennifer’s secular ceramics are often illustrated with the seven species or Persian patterns and include items such as vases, covered jars, bowls, cups, pitchers and teapots.

Jennifer’s work is carefully crafted by wheel throwing or hand building, often altered to create sections of six to mimic the Jewish star and guiding her signature decorating techniques. Using hand-made glazes, Jennifer trails a thin line out of a hollow needle over top of the initial base. She outlines images of wheat, fig or pomegranate, or designs patterns that are filled in with additional layers of glazes. Jennifer employs a combination of chrome and tin in her glaze which react with the kiln’s heat, migrate across the pot, and blush pink across the base glazes, creating a sketchy, soft, colorful surface.

Jennifer’s work is displayed nationally in Museum shops and galleries. She also exhibits her work in regional craft shows. She creates custom kiddush cups for several synagogues for their b’nai mitzvah gifts and may be able to personalize items for special gift giving and awards. She enjoys teaching pottery to adults in a variety of settings including an online class, and donates her time to lead ceramic Judaica workshops in her son’s Hebrew school and cub scouts.

Jennifer’s pottery career emerged during a program at Kibbutz Kfar Hanasi in Israel taught by one of its founders. Along with pottery techniques, her teacher infused the class with Hebrew, Jewish and Israeli traditions and history. She has also worked in the studio of a Jerusalem based clay artist and volunteered with new Ethiopian immigrants. In Israel, she became immersed in the diverse Jewish world of culture and folk art as well as being exposed to the people’s deep connection with land and agriculture. Designing both Judaica and secular pottery with which people can interact in the home is Jennifer’s passion. She has found making ritual pieces for customers to use on Shabbat and holidays throughout the year especially rewarding. She enjoys crafting objects that reflect her love of Jewish culture and honor the earth and its beauty. Whether drinking a cup of coffee from her mug or saying prayers over candles with her candlesticks, she hopes her pottery brings its owners moments of beauty and appreciation of the ritual.

Jennifer’s studio is at her home in Philadelphia. If you wish to contact Jennifer Wankoff, please email or message through Instagram @jenniferwankoffceramics.