These disturbing ceramics are the stuff of nightmares, and we love it

Israeli sculptor Ronit Baranga is making waves with a series of ceramic works that blend grotesque human forms with traditional dinnerware.

Her work blends wide-open mouths, sprouting fingers and other body parts with cups, plates and kettles, turning inoffensive, everyday items into nightmarish and fascinating sculptures that look like they’re right out of a David Lynch film.

Baranga uses different kinds of clay for her works, creating partial casts of the different parts of her eerie figures and then connecting them together to form the final piece.

She repeatedly uses fingers and mouths in her sculptures because of their inherent sensuality. Isolating them from the context of the human body gives them a powerful, whole new meaning she wants to explore.

As she stated in an interview published on, “The seamless combination of these organs in plates or cups, appearing as one, creates, in my opinion, new items that “feel” their environment and respond to it.”

Ronit’s work is not intended for real dinner table use, although she did use her ceramics once in a family holiday meal. She placed a set of bowls with protruding fingers at the center of the table as an allegory of the tension that usually exists among the participants of a large family reunion.

Wonder how that went…

A commonality in her body of work is a never-ending exploration of the relationship between inanimate and living entities.

“I try to change the way in which we observe useful tableware,” she says. “The useful, passive, tableware can now be perceived as an active object, aware of itself and its surroundings – responding to it. It does not allow to be taken for granted, to be used. It decides on its own how to behave in the situation.”

Ronit Baranga’s most recent work was displayed at the Gross Anatomies show at the Akron Art Museum.