Known for her hand-built porcelain forms, Paula Winokur (b. 1935, Philadelphia, PA) references her strong interest in geological forms such as cliffs, ledges, crevices and canyons. More importantly her work suggests the passage of time and its effect on these types of formations, whether caused by water, wind, earthquakes or other natural phenomena. Her choice of porcelain echoes the subject matter of her forms. Winokur states, “I have chosen to work with this clay because it has allowed me to explore issues in the landscape without necessarily making literal interpretations. It can be minimal and sometimes surreal in its starkness.”1
Winokur began her academic career with a focus on painting. During her sophomore year at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, she took a course with the ceramist Rudolph Staffel and began working in clay. Initially exposed to stoneware thrown on kick wheels, Winokur was influenced by British ceramist Bernard Leach and Japanese master Shoji Hamada, among others. It was after she spent a summer at Alfred University with her husband Robert Winokur, that the couple moved to Ashfield, Massachusetts, where they started Cape Street Pottery. They sold functional ceramic work from their studio until Robert received a teaching position at Tyler School of Art in 1966.