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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Precious encounter: Orit Elhanati

A few days ago, we welcomed a new brand among our creators. We asked the designer a few questions so that she could introduce you to her universe steeped in history!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 45 years old with a Danish and Middle Eastern background and work as a jewellery designer, handcrafting jewellery from my showroom here in Copenhagen. I love what I do, and I feel very grateful everyday.

What is your first jewellery memory ?
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 jewellery is made to 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 – it came to me in a dream and I have never looked back since. Gold has always fascinated me, I love working with gold, burning it, taking it apart only to reassemble it and burn it again until it reaches perfection.

What’s the first piece that you designed ?
The PALMA tag is the first piece I designed. This was the first time I started playing with letting the gold drip, and what I had learned, really came out in this particular piece.

What is your favorite stone ? Why ?
I definitely have to say opals intrigue me. I make collections, and each piece always has a special mark and is never the same. The opals add to this creating truly unique pieces of jewellery that can never be found again.

Do you have a piece of jewellery that you wear all year-round ? 
Each piece I make has a special place in my heart. It is very difficult for me to single one piece out. The Rock Ring is very special to me as it one of the first rings I made, and became the starting point for my sculptural and organic design, however I love wearing my new pieces and combining them with the old.

Who are your favorite jewellery designers ?
I love Fernando Jorge’s design. It is overwhelming handcraft, but yet so poetic, where the stones speak for themselves and you can feel the thoughts behind each piece.  Francisca Villa makes amazing jewellery, with her magical stories and each pieces is unique and can never be found again, which is difficult to accomplish. I also love Solange Azaguri’s edgy and modern approach to her jewellery that with a humoristical touch feels just right.

What are your greatest design influences ?
I am inspired by my environment and people around me. Nature, the sea, the clean lines of the desert, rocks and nature 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 jewellery or something in my home is somehow inspired by different 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 Zara 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 to name a few that have inspired me.

What do you listen to in your studio ?
This really changes with my mood and the direction I am going. At the moment I am really into David Bowie, and French Jazz music. Last month it was Aino Venna and Nick Cave.

If you weren’t a jewellery designer, what would you do ?
I really cannot imagine doing anything else, but I have always been fascinated with art and handcraft, so it would probably be something evolved around this. Or perhaps a landscape architect, or I would be designing fast cars…You never know…

Which famous people (living or dead) inspire you the most ?
I feel it is hard to name just one person that has inspired me. I am inspired by different elements and moments, and do not have an icon as such. The world is filled and has always been filled with so many extraordinary and talented people. It is a lot about the energy and a small moment that inspires you. I love how Bianca Jagger combines the feminine and masculine – it is like fire, it is this force I use a lot when creating my jewellery.

What is your dream destination ?
We are going to Sicily this year – I have always dreamt about walking the streets of Palermo and later this year I am going to Marrakech – the colours and Middle Eastern mysticism draws me.

Is there any particular places you would recommend in Copenhagen?
My showroom is right in the city and I usually start my mornings at Atelier September for my coffee and breakfast. After work we go to Bon Marche for aperols that has late sun and at the moment I am really a fan of Spaghetteria that has a very foreign vibe. I love the architectural lines and atmosphere I get when going for a walk in Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek or The Royal Stables at Christiansborg Palace to clear my mind and get a clearer vision of what I want to create and achieve.

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