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A Father’s Kaddish: The Celebration of (a) Life in the Aftermath of Death

Steven Branfman
Maine Jewish Museum – Jody Sataloff History and Art Pavilion
March 9 2023 – April 28 2023

On September 27, 2005, internationally acclaimed potter and raku master Steven Branfman lost his 23-year-old son, Jared, to brain cancer. A week after Jared’s death, Steven went into his studio, took some clay, and made a chawan, a Japanese-style tea bowl. Each day for one year, he made one chawan– they were the only pots he made. Steven’s daily chawan made at his wheel was his own personal kaddish (the traditional Jewish prayer of mourning).

For nine years, these 365 bowls sat unfinished on shelves in Steven’s studio. One day, in the ninth year, he decided to glaze and fire these bowls, bringing them to life with color and sheen. And from March 9 – April 28, you will be able to view (and hold — this is an exhibit where touch is encouraged!) a selection of Steven’s chawan at the Maine Jewish Museum.

Most of the art we exhibit is for sale. Your purchase helps support local artists and the Maine Jewish Museum.