Influenced by her appreciation of plant life, Halper's designs evolved in the late 1960's into organic and altered forms as can be seen in this vessel. She experimented with color and volcanic glazes that distinguish her work from that of other ceramicists.
Estelle Halper (1918-1980) was an acclaimed potter born in White Plains, New York. She initially took ceramic classes at Greenwich House Pottery in Manhattan in the early 1940’s, when she lived in Greenwich Village. She learned to mix elements for glazes at Greenwich House Pottery, taking courses with Peter Volkous, James Crumrine, and Ilsa Rothmer. Ceramics courses at New York University and the Art Student’s League added to her knowledge of glaze chemistry and contemporary design.
Influenced by the simplicity of the classic forms of Japanese, Chinese and Greek pottery, she initially based her designs on these classic forms, later developing her own personal approach to ceramics and design. She worked with stoneware clay, while sculptural works were made of stoneware with grog. All were fired to cone 10 in an electric kiln. She experimented with various clay bodies and mixed her own clay in a pug mill in her studio in Eastchester, New York. She lived and worked in New York City and Eastchester, New York until the end of her life. She was a staff instructor at the Westchester Art Workshop and founded the pottery program at the Hudson River Museum where she taught from 1956 - 1978.