UnaUna | Black Toys. Black Shoes | July 23.14

  • When you spot a black leather shoe with an interesting cut and unique shape, the odds are that you bumped into one of UnaUna’s creations. The ladies behind this distinct label, Almog Weiss and Mira Gafni, live in a world of their own. A world in which there aren’t too many distractions from the outside. They are so concentrated deep within themselves and it seems like, they aren’t too worried about the seasonal trends that come and go. And yet, each and every season, the two manage to bring to life the most intriguing and genuine collection. The normally choose to work only with black colors which works great for them. For them, the color black is a world of its own. That’s why when I realized that Almog and Mira named their Summer 2014 collection “Black Toys”, it felt so right. And you can’t really imagine these sophisticated shoes in any other color. You just can’t! They are perfect just the way they are. In black.
    -
    www.una-una.com
  • {Photos byGuy Gilad}

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Keren Taggar | End of Year Doodles | July 18.14

  • The day has finally arrived and all over Israel, Graduates Shows are in full swing.
    I’m not sure if you can tell (but really, I know you can) that it’s my favorite time of the year. Anyways, before diving in and sharing with you my favorite projects, I thought I should start by sharing with you these beautiful sketches that one of my favorite Illustrators, Keren Taggar, doodled while visiting the end of year presentation of the Illustration class at the Shenkar College.
    Before moving to San Francisco, it was me, visiting all kinds of end of year presentations, and boy do I miss having the butterflies in my stomach.
    Oh well…
    BTW, you can re-visit the previous posts I wrote about the lovely Keren here and here.
    -
    www.kerentaggar.com

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World Break | Romy Northover | Perfect Imperfections | July 16.14

  • I have the weirdest habit. Whenever I like a photo on Instagram, I also read the comments that were written about it. As I told you, it’s weird alright. Anyways, if there is one time I was really happy for being so bizarre was this time, because that’s how I ended up on Romy Northover’s insta-feed. And what a feed it is!
    I have such a huge appreciation for artists and especially ceramists who let random “mistakes” or strokes happen. When you look at Romy’s ceramics, you can’t help but want to head over to her studio and just sit still and… stare. Yeah, just stare at her while she is creating all these strokes of raw beauty. AND… to make things even more perfect, Romy doesn’t really care about covering it all up with glaze and the fact that you can feel the raw clay under your fingers with all it’s bumpy texture is just… well, perfect!
    {This is a British Break}
    -
    www.romyno.com

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Interview | Swift Textiles | Mixing Modern and Tradition Creates Magic | July 15.14

  • It’s no secret that Textile has been one of my greatest discoveries since starting my DesignBreak journey almost five years ago…
    Back than I knew nothing about it, but little by little I discovered so many young talented designers, who make this tiny Israeli scene much more exciting let alone beautiful and vibrant.
    Michal Fierstein and Roni Yeheskel who graduated from Shenkar College just last year and were among my favorite decided to take a leap of faith and jump start their very own textile story, their Swift story.
    These two aren’t afraid of hard work or getting their hands dirty. Super dirty. They hand dye, print and sew each and every fabric that goes under their hands and the outcome is oh-so-pretty. The girls have such a talent for turning minimal black and white lines into a truly one of a kind creation. As you probably guess, I’m especially in love with their line of towels. Yep, black and white all the way.
    But enough about me, let’s hear what Michal and Roni have to say about their brand new journey. Girls, take it away!
    -
    swiftextiles.tumblr.com
  • I’d love to hear about your journey, how it all began.
    Roni: Michal (29) and I (28) studied together Textile Design at Shenkar College, just graduated last summer. We connected on our second year when each student is given a different textile specialization, and we both ended up in weaving class. Weaving is a traditional technique, requires planning and accuracy, and has it’s demanding frame limits. The challenge is to exceed those limitations and to create a new form from an ancient technique, through design. During the third year we got to work on a small project together, and already then I knew that someday we will collaborate again. I was happy to find out it was sooner than later.
    Michal: I was too! Each of us has a different thinking process, but our aesthetics are close enough so that they can connect clearly together. Handcrafting is an important and main principle in Swift, it’s important to us to be in control on one hand, and letting nature do its thing on the other. Also a handmade process creates one-of-a-kind pieces, so each of them is uniquely different.
  • Where do you live, what do you like about it and how does it affect your creations?
    We both moved to south Tel Aviv just recently. This area stimulated the will to create in us, now that we live right next to all the suppliers and tradesmen. This city’s tempo is what motivates us the most, making us keep up and create as fast as things happen here. Even though we both came from cities in central Israel, Tel Aviv is the closest we have here to what goes on in other places in the world, and it really is close.
    What are the advantages/disadvantages of being an Israeli based designer?
    First of all, our roots are here. When you are grounded somewhere, it will bring good things out of you, makes you feel secure and comfortable. Israel is also a fusion of cultures, which allows naturally to combine different aesthetics, to merge east and west and to put tradition into modern design.
    Of course there are also disadvantages. Unfortunately, the Israeli textile industry is disappearing, and so do the suppliers. In addition, Israel is a small country full of extremely talented people, which flood a limited consumer market with a large group of designers. This also creates a healthy competition and an obligation to stay focused.
  • I’d love to here about the collaboration between the two of you. How does it work and who does what?
    Each of us took on a role in quite a naturally way. Michal already got to know a lot of people in the field, which made her our PR person. She also had some experience in producing and selling her own designs. Roni is a more practical (and organized :) person, and now is in charge of the administration parts, and also on the internet issues.
    In terms of design, we are much more equals. Each of us has her own characteristics but eventually we speak the same aesthetic language, willing to give and take criticism and to learn from each other. Creating in a pair is a big advantage. It means we share the loads, encourages each other and it makes us much more obligating to our work.
    What led you towards opening your own studio right after finishing design school? Did you consider working for others first?
    Roni: The truth is that opening an independent business right after school was the last thing I thought will happen, but you can never really anticipate how things will turn out in the design field. When Michal offered me to join her it just felt right. Besides, creating freely is something I wish for every designer out there.
    Michal: Independency is always important for me when it comes to creativity. While studying I already opened a small brand and when school was over it happened naturally. Of course there is always the question- Is this right as a first step? But experience is the best teacher.
  • What makes you different from other Israeli designers?
    Our brand is one of a few here that creates home and fashion textiles, we believe the line between them is getting blurry. Textile is our set of tools to answer and solve aesthetic and practical needs. Textile thinking, is in the microscopic details like the compound of a thread, which eventually affects the quality and sustainability of the final product. This is the way we think and create each item, from the smallest detail to the final result.
    Which materials do you work with?
    Of course it depends on the product. If it refers to the body, we will make sure the textile will be natural and pleasant. If the product refers to home, then the resistance of the textile is important. There are more important parameters we take into consideration, such as weather and laundry resistance. Synthetic textile is also an option, when it fits. As textile designers we know that the technological progress can result in amazing synthetic products, and we are not afraid of it.
  • Can you describe your work process?
    It starts with an inspirational concept, leading to patterns and motives we abstract and also to the technique we will use. Then comes the part when we look for a product within the textile and soft world. Texture and feel are main principles when we search for materials to create from. It is also important for us that the products will be complementary to each other, connected in material and technique wise.
  • What does a normal day in your life look like?
    As of this moment we are both combining “Swift” with day jobs. In a matter of fact the pressure and intensity are making us work more effectively, even during abnormal working hours. A Swift-day usually begins with a foot trip to Nahalat-Binyamin Street (the textile suppliers street in central Tel Aviv). On the go, we never skip the coffee and the grumble about the dishes our partner left in the sink. We continue to buy some textile dye materials or different work tools for that day’s project and then we head up to one of the apartments to get started. The choice of which house to work in, depends mostly on Tony (Michal’s dog) and what kind of Zen we need to be in. We boil some water, fill the pots with dye materials, and off we go!
    Is there anything in particular that fuels your creativity as a designer?
    We thought about it for a moment and agreed that what fuels our creativity is the aesthetics we are drawn to. For us, if we find in nature incredibly geometric and symmetric creations, that will arouse curiosity on and motivate us to create. Technique is also a stimulus for our creativity, especially if it’s one we don’t have experience in or a bit out of our comfort zone.
  • Can you tell me which designers inspire you?
    What about some web sites and blogs that you visit when you’re in a need for a boost of creative inspiration?
    We are inspired by a few such as: Trend Tablet (for some trend forecasts by the guru Lidewij Edelkoort), Patternity (for some pattern thinking), Marimekko (just because…), Emmas Designblogg (for neat Scandinavian inspiration) and Pattern Observer (to keep up on what’s trending in the textile world).
    Are there any up and coming designers that you like at the moment?
    Of course! There are AndreyAndShay, two industrial designers, which also just graduated from the Shenkar College. Their brand is about small leather products, very aesthetic. We love it!
    Also there are a few non-local designers we got to know and appreciate through our Etsy activity, such as Marlene Huissoud. A French-London based textile designer, who designs amazing printed silk scarves.
  • What was one of your biggest lessons learned since starting out?
    Never use a Stanley knife off the cutting mat… Though the day we spent together at the E.R. was quite funny!
    What do you find most rewarding about your career?
    The fact that we have creative freedom, and also that the feedback is immediate, even if it’s negative you learn so much from it!
  • What’s next? What is your dream?
    The dream is to open a studio and never stop handcrafting. Collaboration is something we believe in, with hands that work with different materials the same way we work with textile. Our wish is to collaborate with both local and foreign designers. Another dream is traveling to places around the world that manufacture and creates textile, learn new techniques, get to know new materials and go beyond textile. We both enjoy challenges and look forward to the next adventure…

in Interviews, Israeli Designers, Textile Design | Tags: , , | 2 comments

 

 
 

Shopping Break | Ink Garden | July 11.14 | Handpicked by me.

  • When I heard that Julia Kostreva will be collaborating with Need Supply and creating for them a limited addition of artworks, it made me super happy. After all, I’m such a big fan of hers.
    Julia uses her mad graphic skills in the most unique and distinct way. While working on her graphic projects, her beautiful sketches turn into stand alone artwork. That’s why, when you bump into a “Julia Kostreva” piece, you’ll immediately know it’s hers. Anyways, I’m only telling you all of this, because the other day, after thinking about owning a creation of Julia’s, I did the only logical thing. I ordered her Garden Print, a print which was also part of Julia’s design process. And as always, this comes to show you that the process is a goldmine on it’s own. At least that’s how I see it.
    I don’t know what about you, but I’m obsessed with my brand new piece of art and can’t wait to frame it and find a spot for it.

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Student Break | Tom Melnick | Gloomie. A Doll For The Depressed You | July 10.14

  • I’m having such a hard time keeping all the 2014 Graduate posts to myself before the Graduate Shows actually starts.
    Oh well, who cares.
    Let me introduce you to one of my new favorite illustrated discoveries, Miss Tom Melnick.
    Tom is a brand new graduate of the Communication Design Department at the Shenkar College and she is one heck of a maker. Not only is she a brilliant illustrator, she also has some mad handmade skills. And like a true star, in her Gloomies project, she mixes them all.
    Gloomies are decorative toys for depressed and bummed people. The dolls express a few kinds of bad feelings that people experience sometimes like: heartbreak, anger, stress, sadness and exhaustion.
    The Gloomies aren’t meant to help you feel better, they are cynical and pessimistic, and as a result their characterizing sentence is an anti-inspirational quote.”
    FYI, the plastic dolls were 3D printed and then hand-colored.
    You can get in touch with Tom at: tomelnick {at} gmail {dot} com

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Knobbly | The Curve of The Ear | July 7.14

  • “Forever in limbo between a minimalist aesthetic and full on war paint.”
    What can I say, the minute I read Knobbly‘s motto I fell in love.
    These days (for the last five years to be exact) I’m all about statement pieces and I’m not really paying much attention to minimal pieces that are being created by so many super talented designers. And then Gittit Szwarc and her Knobbly earrings came along.
    Gittit’s sensitive eye for the fine lines and curves of the human body and especially the human ear makes a difference. After all she states that “The most fascinating aspect of jewelry or apparel is the way it interacts with the human form.” And it shows. Big time!
    -
    www.knobblystudio.com
  • {Photos by Aya Wind}

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My San Francisco Break | Summertime In The City | July 4.14

  • By the looks of it, I’m not doing such a good job in documenting My San Francisco Breaks. In fact, it’s been 4 months since the last one. Oh well.. I guess that sometimes life has it’s own pace.
    Since it’s summertime (finally!) I decided that I should explore some of San Francisco’s most talked about ice-cream places. In reality I found myself at Humphry Slocombe‘s Mission location during a hot Sunday and…
  • It didn’t take me long enough to pop into their Ferry Building location. Delicious? For sure!
    I’m not really sure which flavors I tried at the first location, but as you can see, the second time was all about lemons. Plus, I had to pair my brand new Kate Spade lemon kicks with a proper instagram pic. Yeah, it’s a bit too much, but that’s just me. BTW, Humphry Slocombe’s flavors are insane. And that only means more visits and many more IG pics will follow.
  • I can talk talk about ice-cream all day long but I can also talk about Tara Donovan’s crazy exhibition at the Pace Gallery. And no, I’m not talking about the Pace Gallery in NYC. I’m talking about the one in Menlo Park (aka, just around the corner). Who would have thought?! I should thank my friend Rachelle for this super duper heads up. You have no idea how blown away I was by Tara’s insane creation. This girl has some skills. All these structures are mind blowing. For real!
  • This sea of pencils is soooooooooo crazy. And I didn’t even start talking about the straw wall (!!!)
  • What else? Oh, I was invited by one of my favorite local illustrators, Courtney Cerruti, to a Social Sketch party. I’m no illustrator by any means but I do love watching illustrators doing their thing. I can stare for hours, so I was super excited to join a bunch illustrators, a pile of watercolors, lots of smiles and a mountain of cupcakes. I sure hope that’s only my first Social Sketch. I couldn’t stop smiling for days!
  • Another party that I couldn’t resist joining was Craftsman and Wolves‘ 2nd birthday celebration. It was all about birthday stories written by 3rd and 4th grade students from the 826 Valencia of the Creative Writing Program. The two winning stories were brought to life in the form of cakes (!!!) How cool is that?!
    Of course I went with The Black Frosting — a gluten free semolina cake with semolina lavender crumble, a light vanilla mousse, blackberry frosting and………. sprinkles! So good.
    As you can see, I can’t pass a slice of sprinkly cake. At the same time I think that it is a proper ending to yet another San Francisco Break.
    And on that festive note, I’m wishing you a sunny weekend and a Happy 4th to all you Americans out there.
    xx- E.
    {Photos by me}

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