by Ayelet Kowalsman
Israel is a very rich country.
By saying that I don’t mean that all the people in Israel are wealthy, or that our streets are paved with gold – I mean that to live in Israel is to be constantly surrounded by inspiration, marvel, wonder. There is a wealth of enchantment, of new ideas, of the sense of growth. Maybe it stems from a certain sense of urgency, that things can change within the hour, that you must live your life fully, and release your creativity.
Although Israel is a small country it incorporates within it a vast variety of climates, cultures, landscapes and people. It is this diversity, I think, that also gives us the ability and the opportunity to learn, absorb and be inspired by everything around us. I have come to notice that many people here in Israel are creative, each in his own way, and was wondering about the source of their inspiration.
So I decided to find out (you can find my inspiration at the end)…
Neta, the founder of “Clementina” is a mother, wife, and a designer. She grew up in a very creative family and was taught to listen to her heart and do what she loves doing best.
“My brand “Clementina” was founded during my visual communications studies at Wizo Haifa. The original idea was to make bags that could not be found in the market. My love for nostalgia and my fascination with images, prints, color, shapes and composition influenced these early designs that were incorporated with sewn old magazine pictures. Followed by my close circle of friends, more people showed interest in my bags and my business was born.
Today I still use those old magazine pictures in my designs, as well as pictures from the personal photo album of my late beloved grandmother, Sophie. My love for the past has just increased and it’s important to me to take the old and incorporate it to modern times. Just like a student’s backpack used to carry books and now carries tablets, my designs take the old school, vintage inspiration and translate them to the sophisticated, technological society we now live in.
My bags are all vegan; I use faux leather and lovely, soft, durable poly canvas fabrics with wonderful prints. Some designs start with the shape and I find the perfect fabrics to fit them and others, start with a print and the bag is built all around it. All my bags are individually hand sewn.”
Lir Mizrahi is a mother and a jewelry designer from center Israel.
“For as long as I can remember myself I had a special passion for jewelry. When the time came to decide what I want to learn as a profession it was clear to me that I will study to be a goldsmith.
Most of my pieces are inspired by ancient goldsmith work. I admire the Indian jewelry, it’s attention to the smallest details always inspired me. I also love working with gemstones – I believe colors can make a big difference in our mood, and in our life.
My designs are the kind you’ll love wearing with your everyday outfits: whether it’s the boho chic style for the days you want to be noticed for the textures and colors, or more elegant chain-mail jewelry for a special occasion. Everything is handmade by me with lots of love and attention to details.”
Sara Kakon is a Mother and a designer with a free spirit.
“Truth be told, I’ve never been the kind of girl who wears high heels…I was always looking for flat sandals and shoes that are beautiful and stand out, but also feel comfortable, and let me just be myself. It was hard to find, so I started making them on my own…
I love summer – the sea, the sand, the different textures and the vivid colors – and I bring it all into my designs. For decorating and embellishing, I use professional jewelry techniques and the highest quality materials varying from beads, stones, fabrics and shells. My sandals are not only footwear – they are feet jewelry. For me – to see a carefree and happy woman wearing my sandals – is the most satisfying feeling of all…”
Guy Cohen is an artist, a jeweler and a father.
“Since I was very young I was attracted to crafts and tools (especially my father’s) and experimented and created all kinds of crafts. Now it is my passion: I make unique engagement rings, wedding ring sets, special men’s wedding bands, personalized and custom jewelry – and they are all handmade by me.
Israel is a country of contrasts and it is reflected in my jewelry: by combining hard and soft materials, rough textures with shiny finishes, sharp lines and smooth ones.
Handmade techniques are as rare and precious as gold.
The diversity of traditions and cultures in my country enabled me to learn special and unique techniques from various master craftsmen.
In my jewelry I like to combine handmade engraving, it allows me to share the ancient secret of engraving while using it on new and contemporary pieces of jewelry. This rare and beautiful technique also helps me to grant a personal touch through my creations to each person who buys from my shop.
I work with a microscope so I can achieve the best accuracy that is possible for jewelry made by hand. I keep the high standard and the best quality of my jewelry as my top goal, because this is my passion, my proficiency and that’s where I master – the fine handcraft of a jeweler-goldsmith.”
Eynat Klipper is a fashion designer and lives in a small, beautiful seaside village in northern Israel.
“When I was a student in one of the fashion design collages in Israel, we had a project where we were asked to bring a source of inspiration. I went home and looked at my old family albums, and I have found an old picture of my mother and some of her friends. They were in their swimsuits, having fun in the summer sun, somewhere in the 60’s. They all looked happy and relaxed, natural and innocent and so at peace with themselves.
I wanted to recreate this feeling and bring it to our time as well. The swimsuits in that picture were made from special patterns and unique fabrics of that era. To me they were the essence of that elusive feeling, the center of the picture. I have decided to use that nostalgic swimsuits design to help bring this peace and harmony to our time as well.
That was the beginning of a love story. Two years after I started with my first swimsuit collection.”
Debra Eidlitz is a mother and Leather Bags designer:
“I was always inspired by nature, but the most powerful influence on my work comes from one particular animal – the horse.
When my daughter Bar was a small child, she was having difficulties in interpersonal relationships. Specialists recommended us to take her horseback riding. Horses are well known in their energetic and calming influence, and their therapeutic effect on people.
Little by little Bar’s confidence grew, and she became a girl with great beauty, charm and elegance. One day, as I was watching her riding her horse, I was inspired. A picture popped into my head – “A queen on a horse”. I understood I want all my customers to feel exactly this way.
In order to achieve that I use very high quality leather and elements that project comfort, nobility, elegance and beauty. My designs are in a “Boho Chic” styleת which is my personal taste, and preference. In this style I feel that freedom and creativity connect me to my true inner place. I experiment with other trends as well, but I always stay loyal to myself and my bags”.
Ayelet Zuler is a mother and a jeweler.
“I love combining extremes. Living in the middle of the woods yet still keeping up with new trends. The unity of art and craftsmanship. Elegant, immaculate jewelry and rough looking street style piercing. I think we are all these things together, and therefore there is no contrast.
Through jewelry making I believe my love of art and beauty meets my appreciation for meticulous craftsmanship, and the combination allows me to express myself in my own style.
I love things that make people look good, things that bring out the beauty in each person. Every person has a unique style, though not everyone knows how to find the precise item to best express it.
I love making nose rings to those who want to playfully express their originality, and earrings that will make you feel instantly better about the way you look.
For something to be truly beautiful it has to have the correct proportions, as well as aesthetics. It is eternal and has nothing to do with the changing fashion. Beauty is beauty.”
Noa Holtzshtein is a mother, an artist and teacher:
“My creations express the connection between art & design, and deeply incorporate elements from Pop art and Readymade (Objet trouvé) art.
I create decorative, artistic, colorful and humanistic home unique decor designs. My creations are composed of different objects, old and new, plastic decorations and vintage dolls and more, making my world fantastic, whimsical, magical and a little bitter sweet.
The Enchanted Wool
Ayelet Kowalsman is a mother, a graphic designer, a needle felt artist and a proud geek.
“I have always loved fantasy stories about fairies, witches (good and evil) and dragons. Through the years there have been many books, movies, comics and TV series that have left their mark on me. There are many fantastic characters in these stories that I would have liked to meet, but seeing as they aren’t real, I can’t. Right?
Recently I have discovered a new passion, and have taken to needle-felting. The wool is so soft and inviting, the colors so vivid and lively. Little by little an idea presented itself to me: Why not combine both my passions together?
And so I did.
“The Enchanted Wool” is a new home for my beloved characters. Some of the characters come from various fandoms, and some are my own inventions. I usually start a project with something specific in mind, but every once in a while I get the feeling I am not really the one in charge…
I love all my creations but have found that I especially like making the strong, smart, “kick-ass” women the sci-fi worlds have to offer. I find the contrast between the softness and flexibility of the fabric, and the strong will and hard determination of these women very intriguing. I also believe that such ladies can be a good role-model for young girls and boys, so they are a perfect present for young kids, as well as for their parents.”
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