Yael Portugheis

pictures are one of the oldest art forms. Found in ancient ruins, mosaic
compositions often allow us a glimpse into an ancient world. Little pieces
of stone that are cut and chiseled to the required size and shape are placed
according to color and texture to create intricate pictures. Yael Portugheis
has been hammering and chiseling since the age of 14. Her first mosaic portraits
were created from the colored pebbles found on the beaches of Eilat and Tiberias.

This delicate woman is drawn to the
strength and permanence of stones. Her pictures are deceptively dainty and
do not reveal the strength and muscle needed to begin and complete a work.
Chisel and hammer are Yael’s tools.

a few years ago, Yael treated her mosaic art as a hobby. It was while attending
a 6-week long workshop in the capital of mosaic art, Ravenna, Italy, that
she realized this art was not her hobby, but her passion. Yael is well schooled
in the time-consuming ancient methods the art demands. She collects stones
from all over the world and dreams up her compositions while matching the
material at hand with ideas that await the right colored stones.

“I am close to 50 now and my life
is full and rich. Time is at a premium. As a woman there are tremendous demands
on my time – none of which I wish to forego. To reach my full creative potential,
I must find ways to mix this ancient art with time-efficient methods.

“I’m always creating one thing and
studying something else that is connected to art. I’m very drawn to history.
Maybe that is my connection to mosaics.” Yael’s newer works incorporate
original ceramic pieces with mosaics. She explores themes from the Bible,
Jewish history and nature.

On the wall of Yael’s salon hangs
a small oil painting in shades of reds, blues and greens. The painter was
her uncle, a young man who climbed over mountains to escape the Nazis. He
was killed shortly after his escape, in the War of Independence. His legacy
is the art of the niece he never met.


by appointment only.

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