Reach Out Touch Me: Jewelry Design from Israel Gets Physical

Shopping is a sensual experience for me in that I like to touch things on view or on sale. More than just look or pull off the rack, actually playing with the fabric or material gives me a better sense of the object – how it will wear, drape, endure, draw attention or compete with other things on my shelves. So maybe now you can understand why seeing these bracelets by Israeli Jewelry Designer Dana Hakim Berkovich behind a glass at the Designed in Israel 08 exhibition was so upsetting for me.

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First off, what immediately attracted me was their texture. The woven braids on the cuffs and bracelets seemed so intricate and layered that my fingers literally started walking across them atop the glass just itching to cop a feel. Then, reading the artist’s statement, I realized they were made of cardboard – egg crate cardboard to be more specific! That’s right, not what you first think of when you hear of textural jewelry or think of coveted bracelets. Berkovich cuts diamond shapes into the cardboard and when rounding them into the bracelet shapes generates a 3D effect – what I thought originally was a woven pattern. Berkovich’s overall technique aims to recycle used materials into beautiful accessories and challenges users to rethink the beautiful and the possible in what we casually throw away.

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A little ways away in the same glass case, Israeli jewelry designer, Yael Friedman, also got my fingers itching. A delicate pewter-metal blend gold Hanukiyah or Chanukah Menorah presented the neatest little DIY project that just couldn’t go wrong. A one-dimensional page of metal provided cut outs of semi-circles – each with laser cut decorations – that can be slotted together to form a fully functioning eight-plus-one candle holder. The details gave some light and delicacy to the metal material and the adornment was reminiscent of jewelry techniques. And the idea of being able to mail someone a flat DIY Menorah in time for the holidays? Opens a whole new world of holiday card options. Now if I could only get my hands on these items…

~Crossposted to ModernTribe~