Poppy Earring
  • Today, my One On One Break comes from Melbourne, Australia.
    When graphic design meets contemporary jewelery you get inSync design. A small creative studio specialising in producing distinctive colourful contemporary jewellery, which the Israeli Iris Saar Isaacs shares with an Australian jeweller named Jane Barwick.
    I’m thrilled that Iris wanted to share with us her world of minimal design and exceptional jewelry.
    {DesignBreak found In-sync here}.
  • Coil Bangle
    Coil Bangles
  • Scribble Brooch
    Pod Necklace
  • Seedling Earring
    Waratah Brooch
I’d love to hear about you, your journey, how it all began.
I was born in Tel Aviv in 1969 and spent my childhood in Kfar Silver. Throughout my childhood I always loved craft on all its verities and experimented with many materials and methods in different stages, but was never encouraged to take it seriously, I was always told that “art is not a profession, but a hobby which I could never make a living out of” so I never took it seriously, but just as a hidden passion.
After meeting my future Australian husband (while in Israel) and migrating to Melbourne, Australia in 1993 I got my first opportunity to follow my passion and study art and design. I guess I was lucky coming to Melbourne specifically, which is considered to be the heart of art and design in Australia, where I got an in-depth and varied exposure to the art and craft scene. This is when I started realising that art is not a profession but a way of life, a way of thinking, and most of all a passion, which I always had but never got a chance to explore.
In 1997 I started a very intense, constant and fascinating journey discovering fine art and design. Ever since starting this amazing journey I have developed skills in a diverse array of media. Incorporating these in my work allowed me to create a strong, unique and varied design solutions.
I now juggle between my own work, where I freelance designing and making contemporary sculptures made primarily of glass and metal, graphic design, and of course contemporary jewellery, by applying fine-art techniques and graphic design knowledge to produce unique works of art. And to top it all up I also am a full time mum to two young kids, so you could say that my life is full.
How do you define your work?
I keep exploring the aesthetics of three-dimensional volume, both in jewellery and sculpture, through lines, curves, layers and negative spaces. By using a minimalist approach I try to highlight the natural beauty of the materials themselves, and create forms that are classical yet contemporary. The application of line, lucidity and colour is a language I use to express an inner world versus an external reality.
Can you describe your work process for me?
Generally, my work starts from concept or an idea, followed by very rough sketches on paper and than on the computer (using Adobe Illustrator). Once I have the general shape and scale I than start playing with the materials. In most cases I make mock-up models out of paper, clay or cardboard, to get the scale and proportions right before applying it to the actual materials.
I’d love to here about your inSync collaboration.
inSync was born on a whim between two friends who love contemporary jewellery and well-designed objects. Jane and I met in the JMGA (Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group of Victoria). We became friends and years later inSync was formed, initially to create work to sell at the Melbourne Design Market.
At the time we were both inspired by my two year old daughter’s line drawings that were free and whimsical. So we took her roll of paper and crayons, sat on the floor and started sketching ideas…
We thought of making brooches based on those drawings and combining industrial processes with hand made techniques. We were tired of making everything fully by hand and we wanted to speed up the process a bit. The result was seven brooch designs in seven colours. They sold really well at the Design Market and the response from both the public and galleries was very encouraging, so we kept going, increasing stockists and adding to the range; bangles, earrings and necklaces. The rest is history…
And who does what?
Both Jane and I are fully involved in the design process, contact with customers, media, retailers etc, and the day to day running of the business. In addition, we also have different roles that utilise our different strengths. I do the website design and upkeep, photography, computerisation of all our designs and get them ready for laser cutting and liasing with industry. Jane writes and edits most of the material we use for publicity and applications. She also does the accounts, invoicing, stock QC and sending orders.
What is the most unusual piece you have ever designed?
hard question! each sculpture I make is unique one-off piece, which I get attached to in one way or another, but I guess the “peek a boo” piece I made a few years ago was interesting. it was a miniature object made of a camera shutter and a silver case, that every time you open the shutter, you see your reflection upside down.
  • peek-a-boo
What’s next? What is your dream?
I am living my dreams! I guess I am lucky enough to fulfil my dreams by making artworks that I love and am proud of, and people appreciate and buy, and that my work takes me overseas, exploring other cultures and diverse aesthetics. But if we are talking about a dream… I would love to have an exhibition in Israel one day!

I’m curious, what inspires you?
Everything all around: art, fashion, colours, different cultures and countries, architecture, textiles… you name it!

Who are you favorite designers?
too many to mention, but a few that come to mind are Issey Miyake, Jill sanders, Dries Van Norten, Zaha Hadid and Philip Starck.

What about some web sites and blogs that you visit regularly?