- Orit Elhanati
“The gold texture is my way of telling stories. The yellow gold I use has a direct connection to the Middle East. Many of the things I create are stories about the streets of Jerusalem, the path to the Dead Sea, the textures of the mountains, cliffs and desert lines. These are also love stories..."
HANDCRAFTED IN ORIT'S WORKSHOP IN COPENHAGEN, USING ONLY ETHICALLY SOURCED STONES AND RECYCLED GOLD, ELHANATI JEWELS ARE INSPIRED BY ORIT'S MIDDLE EASTERN ROOTS, HER LOVE FOR NATURE AND THE LIGHT OF DENMARK. THE BRAND WAS LAUNCHED IN 2012 AND ORIT'S JEWELS HAVE SETTLED IN OUR WINDOWS IN MAY 2018. SINCE THEN, THESE RAW, SCULPTURAL AND MESMERIZING CREATIONS, THAT COME PACKED WITH HISTORY, HAVE ATTRACTED THE ELEGANT AND DISCERNING CLIENTS OF OUR SHOP. TO CELEBRATE ORIT'S FIRST TRUNKSHOW AT WHITEBIRD, WE HAVE SAT DOWN WITH THE DESIGNER AND ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HER STORY AND INSPIRATIONS.
1. First of all, could you introduce yourself to our new clients who are not completely familiar with your work?
I am a Danish jewelry designer with roots in Israel. I create handmade jewelry from our workshop in Copenhagen, drawing inspiration from the Nordic lightness and minimalism and mysterious energy and surroundings from the Middle East. I only work with 18K solid recycled yellow gold. I am in love with the feeling of working with it, creating textures. The gold texture is my way of telling stories. The yellow gold I use has a direct connection to the Middle East. Many of the things I create are stories about the streets of Jerusalem, the path to the Dead Sea, the textures of the mountains, cliffs and desert lines. These are also love stories...
2. When did you decide to start your brand Elhanati, and why?
Gold has always fascinated me. I have always been infatuated with my grandmother and her friends sitting on the porch in Tel Aviv dripping in gold. This has imprinted itself in my mind and has followed me throughout my life - I love the way jewelry is made to be passed on through generations and becomes a part of the woman and her story. I remember the exact moment when I knew it was my calling - I have never looked back since and I have had ELHANATI since 2011.
3. What are your greatest influences in jewellery and design?
I am inspired by my environment and people around me. The nature, the sea, the clean lines of the desert, rocks, the rawness is deeply inspiring to me. I am not religious, but I believe in these greater powers that have such a force, that we cannot comprehend. Each thing I create whether it be a piece of jewelry or something in my home is somehow inspired by all these different places and people. It is very important to me that there is a feeling behind everything I do. I am in love with the works of Zaha Hadid that has incredible ways of creating beautiful, yet functional design with soft and curvey lines. Gaudi’s mysterious universe as well as Henri Matisse’s sensual lines and touch are a few of the other artists that have inspired me.
4. Who is your client? What is her/his style and personality?
My clients are very different and it would be impossible to define them. I see many of them as ‘collectors’. They always start with a piece then build their collection from there. I see both men, women - young and old - with my jewelry and am humbled every time.
5. What does a typical day look like for you? Do you have any rituals?
I enjoy getting up before everyone else in the family and walk around the house by myself. I always open the windows - I need the air to run through. I always make myself a cup of coffee before I do anything else. When I make jewelry I always sit by myself. I need silence and the time to stand still, otherwise it is impossible to remain playful in this fast-paced world.
6. We are so happy to welcome you in Paris for the inauguration of the exhibition of your new collection - among the jewels we received, do you have a favorite piece? If so, why?
Opals are my favorite stones, they almost make you speechless, the layers that are inside the stone change with light and warmth, it almost feels like a dynamic painting. I love combining them with diamonds. I only use Top Wesselton VVS and VS diamonds as I believe the jewelry is something you keep with you for eternity. The Sun ring is very special to me, but also the Signature ring. I love combining these with a stacking of the graphic rings, choosing different sizes and types to create something new each time.
7. Some of your creations are inspired by Tel Aviv. Do you have any favorite spots in this dream destination that you could recommend?
I always travel to Tel Aviv, that will always be one of my favorite places on earth. There’s an energy that appeals to me, it completes me. I stay with my family in Rananah. Neve-Tzegek Ratiliya and Natanyah are my favorite beaches, and I love spending my evenings in Old Jaffa. I love walking in the old streets of Kerim Hateimanim where my favorite houmos can be found at Abu-Hazan, owned by some old men. They serve houmos until it is sold out, and then they close!
8. Finally, any projects you would like to share with us for the coming year?
I am currently working on an amazing collaboration that I cannot say more about just at present. I love pushing myself and learning new things, working with wonderfully talented people through these collaborations.