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Israeli designer Shlomit Ofir uses gold- and silver-plated metals to create on-trend, delicate, pretty pieces. Think collections inspired by ancient coins and treasures; delicate constellation-inspired gold and silver bangles; hoops, beaded with tiny glass globes; complex, chain-strung hanging earrings, studs for rebels – tiny wings and lightning bolts; and tiny silver dragonfly, bird, heart and star pendants, perfect for younger girls.
Shlomit graduated with a degree in industrial design in 2008. Excited by jewellery, she started making it in her spare time in her living room, learning through trial and error. Her hobby grew into a business and she now works alongside a team of 13 women in her Tel Aviv studio.
Shlomit likens jewellery to spices, saying they “add flavour" to an outfit. She believes that it is important to recognise that our “taste buds” change, so launches two very different collections a year; each collection capturing a snapshot of inspiration.
Nature is reflected in her designs featuring elegant birds and dragonflies; she portrays urban scenery in sharp lines and shapes; and her love of rock music in the use of leather and Formica in her trademark black .
She also takes inspiration from the groundbreaking designs of Ray and Charles Eames, who modelled plywood into complex curves forming features that had not been seen before, and she says that using a material like this in an unconventional way energises her. Her discovery of Formica, a hard, durable laminate made of layers of compressed, resin-infused paper typically used in flooring and countertops, was also a turning point for her.
Shlomit designs all the jewellery herself, beginning with a paper sketch which is developed and sketched again on to a computer. She makes the first samples herself and teaches her team how to create each piece. They craft under her supervision.
Some materials are laser cut; some are hand cut. Pieces are cleaned and polished, and plated in gold or silver. Special effects are placed on the metal using enamelling, patina, and chemical etching techniques. Items are then finally assembled, creating “a final picture that is fulfilling to see” says Shlomit.
The diversity in Shlomit Ofir’s collections is exceptional for an independent designer crafting by hand. Whether you want a rock ’n’ roll edge for yourself, or a pretty piece for a young girl, there is something for all tastes.