Menorahs for Hanukkah become sculptural objets d’art in the hands of artist Hannah Polskin

Hannah Polskin’s menorahs in stone composite cut modern and undulating forms

stone menorah with lit candles
(Image credit: Amy Morgenstern, Galerie Ground)

Artist Hannah Polskin rethinks the classic form of a menorah in a new series of sculptures crafted from stone composite. Available in cream or black, the pieces translate the undulating shapes from her abstract paintings into menorahs that she hopes will be displayed all year round as objets d’art in their own right.

stone menorah with lit candles on console

(Image credit: Amy Morgenstern, Galerie Ground)

‘I wanted to modernise the menorah shape without going minimal, holding onto that soulful feeling you get from old world Judaica,’ Polskin says. ‘Like many of my abstract works it's been interesting to see the Rorschach test-like reception to this menorah. Some people see Hebrew letters in it, some see animals, some just describe a feeling they draw from it. It was really important to me that the design still felt like a religious object with a spiritual quality to it.’

Creating the piece was not without its challenges: as well as the requirement that all eight branches are the same height, the material had to be friendly to an open flame (the same challenge that Australian workshop Rubble addressed with its concrete menorah, which we featured in 2021). 

‘This menorah is actually [my project’s] second inception,’ Polskin adds. ‘It's become a holiday tradition of mine to refine the design every year since I debuted the collection in 2021. The main difference between the first and second-generation menorahs is the organic chunkiness that I exaggerated for this year's iteration. The profile view has a beautiful roundness to it that feels heavy but elegant. As a menorah is typically displayed on a table with people gathering around it, it was a delicious challenge to think in 360 degrees and approach every view with intention, a muscle I'm not flexing when working in 2D mediums.’

A menorah with ‘coffee-table clout’

stone menorah without candles

(Image credit: Amy Morgenstern, Galerie Ground)

Polskin combined her personal experience of enjoying Hanukkah as a child with her distinctive aesthetic for the design-led piece. ‘I'm thrilled to finally land on my version of a contemporary classic, a new kind of family heirloom. The key was to design an element that can be displayed proudly year-round as a sculptural object instead of being stored in the back of a credenza collecting dust. I wanted to design a substantial piece with coffee-table clout that simultaneously fits right at home with your grandma's fine china.’ 

hannahpolskin.com

stone menorah

(Image credit: Amy Morgenstern, Galerie Ground)

Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.