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My Story

Elijah Silver Ovnayim Ceramic Art

Hineni: Here I Am

My name is Elijah Silver (they/them). I'm a queer, trans/nonbinary Jewish artist and writer, and I've been working with clay for over twenty years. 

Although my relationship with ceramics has always been effortlessly joyful, my relationship with Judaism has been much more complicated. As a gay, gendercreative person assigned female at birth, I haven't always been welcome or felt safe in Jewish spaces. I've been excluded from events, told that I would have to change my appearance to fit in, and otherwise just given the message that there was no place in Judaism for me. 


Baruch hashem, over the course of my life I've seen a more radical, wilder, queer-er Judaism emerge out of the cracks of those old ways. My queerness and my trans-ness are no longer seen as a barrier, but rather for what they are - aspects of the divine. 

I see my work as a service. I create beautiful things to help people connect to spirit, g!d, creation, their families, their history, or whatever else Judaism means to them. As a trans Jew I take a special joy in creating art that celebrates trans and nonbinary people as holy beings.

My Story in Clay

Perhaps it's because I'm a triple earth sign (Taurus sun with Virgo rising and a Capricorn moon) but I've always loved the touch of wet clay.

My mother taught me how to throw on the wheel when I was nine years old. She was a ceramic artist and I spent my entire childhood around clay - helping her turn the massive wheel of the slab roller, stamping and twisting coils of clay while she worked, and picking up my still-warm creations from the latest kiln firing.

On a visit home as a young adult I pulled her old Brent wheel out of the corner of her garage, got myself a few pounds of clay, sat down, and started to throw. Over the next twenty years I was in and out of studios all over the west coast. My ceramic work finally has a permanent home, and I've been able to embrace the potter's life in a way that feels both profound and utterly, beautifully simple. It's one of my life's greatest simchas to create this work for our community.

Kiddush Cup Elijah Silver Ovnayim Kosi Revayah
Elijah Silver Ovnayim Ceramic Art Pottery Wheel 2

My Own Musar

I have been involved in social justice work since I was a teenager (aka the 1990's). More recently I've worked as a creative in the Jewish nonprofit world, helping organizations define their musar, or ethic, through visual art and storytelling. 

My own personal musar defines everything I do, so I feel like it makes sense to define it here.


I believe that trans people are created in the image of god. I believe that consent matters more than power. I believe that Black lives are sacred. I believe that Palestinian families have a right to safety and self-determination. I believe that art is change.

I believe that you are holy. I believe that you transform the world.

Thank you for appreciating my art, and thank you for the work you do.

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