Currently living and working in: Tel-Aviv
How did you get your start in the design field?
Gili Barnea: I studied art at The Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem, focusing mainly on sculpture. I found myself drawn to working on small scale projects and after I finished school, it was a natural transition for me to study silver-smithing. I instantly fell in love with creating with metal, with the difficult yet rewarding detail oriented manipulation of a hard material, while creating within a specific framework and within a scale that is adjusted and related to the body’s size.
Nira Dubious: I studied Psychology & Philosophy at The Tel-Aviv University and then completed an M.A in Fashion Theory at Parsons in New York. I always loved fashion and worked in different fashion jobs during my studies. When I returned to Tel-Aviv I wanted to create something tangible, jewelry always had a special meaning for me and I was lucky enough to meet Gili at the right time to start working together on Born from Rock.
Tell us about some of your inspirations:
Gili: I feel my inspirations are very eclectic, not to say all over the place. I’m inspired both by art and design, and by functional objects you see everyday on the street, like a keychain, old doorknobs, window gratings, and different mechanical connective joints. I’ve also been looking a lot at typography and graphic signs and symbols as a source of inspiration.
Nira: I’m inspired by nature, art and random interactions with interesting people. I'm also inspired by the way in which wearable objects interact with the human form.
What’s your favorite part of the work process?
Gili: Each collection is a bit different for me, I recently learned to work with a 3d modeling application and in the last two collections I’ve been creating 3d models based on actual material experimentation, then printing them, playing around with them, then going back to 3d modeling based on these experiments. I’m excited about this process of going back and forth between 3d modeling and the actual work with materials and feel it has opened a new world of possibilities for us.
Nira: I would say that the final stage of editing the collection is my favorite part. Seeing all the pieces come together and tell a new story excites me every time.
What’s your favorite design item in your own home?
Gili: A shelf/sculpture made by my amazingly talented friend, artist Abigail Hopkins, as a housewarming present.
Nira: All the ABS objects pieces I own. Avi is a super talented designer and a good friend. We collaborated on a collection a few years ago and it was magic.
Is there a piece or collection that you feel represents you the most?
Gili: I feel the most connected to the Lost Heart earring, it is based on a broken key with a clover cutout that I found on the street. It immediately spoke to me with its symbolic, almost kitschy romanticism. I still carry the original key on my keychain.
Nira: It is so hard to choose! The piece that represents me most changes every few months, with every new collection. When we create something new I feel like I grow accordingly and find a new piece to identify with.
What would be your dream project to work on?
Gili: Making jewelry for a runway show could be amazing, or any project where you can let go of functionality restrictions for a while.
Nira: I feel the same as Gili, a project where we can immerse ourselves in a fantasy without considering the practicalities would be very exciting.