Itzik Ben Shalom was born in 1945 in Hadera, Israel. One of his most vivid memories as a child involved a young British Army Officer who gave him a bullet casing. For years, he kept that metal gun shell in his pocket. He used to rub it all the time and instead of wearing it out, the shell developed a patina and luster.The metal fascinated him. When he was 15, he went to sea as a merchant marine. In africa, he saw the raw materials. he loaded them on the ship and the textures stayed with him. He works from those images and textures subconsciously. with no formal training, he set up a foundry which specialized in the 4,000 year old Lost Method of casting sculpture.
Itzik began to sketch designs that he had been carrying in his head for years.His excitement grew, his joy grew, and then he knew he was a true sculptor. “I tell people not to think about my work,if they love it, just love it, that’s what I do.”