Ceramic artist, instructor traveled far to hone skills

Skye Kinkade
Ceramic artist Noam Zimin concentrates on creating large mugs in his new studio inside My Favorite Things in Mount Shasta. In addition to offering ceramic supplies including clays, glazes, pottery wheels, kilns and tools, he offers lessons and workshops for people of all ages and skill levels.

Ceramic artist Noam Zimin says he was sitting in a bunker as part of an Israeli combat unit when his post-military path began taking shape.

“I?realized I was about to free... I?was almost finished. I?made a list of all the exciting things I would do with my life, and pottery was on there.”

Now far from Israel’s mandatory draft system, Zimin is offering pottery classes for all ages at his new studio inside the My Favorite Things in building in downtown Mount Shasta. He’ll also be carrying ceramic supplies such as clays, glazes, pottery wheels, kilns and tools.

Zimin moved to Mount Shasta in late 2009 and began working in the new studio in mid-January. He said his ultimate goal is to open a large facility, where an array of art and performing arts classes can be offered.

Always drawn to clay and “all things artistic,”?Zimin said that after leaving the military he decided “to seek out teachers who are amazing,”?rather than attend a university. “I’m happy with that choice.”

He worked with two mentors in Israel, then traveled to the United States to learn ancient Native American techniques. Arriving in Arizona in 1993, Zimin said he had a difficult time finding someone to take him under their wing.

“I was 24... in many ways I?was naive, thinking I could just ask a Native American and they’d say yes,” he said. After four weeks of trying, “I began getting the hint that it might have had something to do with the way I looked... with the fact that I’m not Native.”

Following a suggestion, Zimin said he went to New Mexico, where there are more Native American tribes along the Rio Grande. “It was a magical experience. New Mexico’s called the Land of Enchantment, and it was truly that.”

He went back to Israel in 1995 to work as an art school director, stayed seven years, then returned to New Mexico, “immersing myself in the culture” for 10 years.

Always wanting to live in California, he came to Mount Shasta and “immediately felt a connection to the people here.”

Zimin describes himself as “a very community oriented person.” He said his dream of creating a facility where children of all means can create art and express themselves through performing arts is a project he hopes to accomplish by networking with other passionate people in the area.

His wife Deonesea teaches belly dancing, tango and sacred dance. Their daughter Sequoia is a sixth grader at Sisson Elementary. “She’s very creative, and I?love that,” Zimin said of Sequoia.

The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information on classes, supplies and events, call 530-220-4356 or go to the website www.claydancestudio.com.

Noam Zimin was working on a set of large mugs on the wheel at his new location inside My Favorite Things in Mount Shasta last week.