Yudit’s personal story is entwined
with the history of the State of Israel. Originally from Budapest, Yudit
settled in Kibbutz Masuot Yitzhak that was then in the Etzion Settlement
Bloc. During the 1948 War of Independence, Yudit and her two brothers were
taken prisoner of war by King Abdullah of Jordan – the great-grandfather
of the present-day King Abdullah. In her words, “The King treated us [the
women prisoners] as if we were his sisters and he protected us.” She and
the other women were held in Jordan for a month and then released.
After studying ceramics in London and Paris, Yudit settled in Be’er Sheva
in 1958. Today, the surrounding desert not only influences her work, but
is part of it. She makes periodic digging expeditions to the Negev to bring
back loess — the material that she uses to produce the olive-colored glaze
which typifies her work. The glaze is mixed with different local oxides:
red oxide, from Amudei Amram; black oxide, from the Timna mines. Other materials
come from the craters at Makhtesh Ramon.
Over the years, Mayer has collaborated
with architects, and designed the entrance walls of high profile structures.
A recently completed work is the wall at Bet Zemach, a cultural center on
the shores of Lake Kinneret.