Ayala Bar Interview



Ayala Bar Risa Borsykowsky: How long have you been a jewelry designer? After a career in theater and interior design, how did you get your start in jewelry design? Where did you train?

Ayala Bar: Sometime during 1997, while on the lookout for artistic directions, I stumbled upon the opening of a new project in Tel Aviv. It was an artistic promenade in Tel Aviv, one which could've enabled me to show my artistic creations at that time - mainly assorted props which I've prepared for a window-dressing. I noticed that most people were looking for smaller things, and it had occurred to me to divert my creative energies to "smaller" objects, namely: Artistic Costume Jewelry.

As to my formal education and training: there was enough of that, although I have to emphasize that my personal experience of playing with actual physical 'matter' over the years, was and still is, my main training.

Were you always artistic? Did you know as a child that you wanted to do something in design?

I've always known that I wanted to engage in the arts. In fact, I've been creating since I can remember. Yes, creativity has always been my direction, although I have to say that it's not as if I necessarily aspired to be a designer. In that era, the official status 'designer' was not as popularly recognized as it is today. I had no knowledge that this specific designation was an option, but artistry still was my aim.

Where do you get your inspiration?

From everything and anything. From day to day life: A random composition of food on a plate, a film I saw the other night, stuff scattered around the room, and so on. The list can be endless… But of course, above all, matter and material from which creativity becomes possible.

What do you enjoy most about this career?

I enjoy seeing the jewelry laid out in a trade show, at which stage I may sometimes experience a brief sensation of fulfillment. You see, during the creative process I have no prospect (nor do I have the desire) to actually be engaged in appreciation of my work. I need to build up a certain distance from the creative process in order to do that.

Who or what had the greatest influence on you as you developed as an artist, or did you always have your own style? How would you describe your style?

Artistic inclination was in my family. I started with mosaic-like creativity following a vivid childhood memory of my Uncle Moeez. He used to immerse objects in fresh cement: photos, sea shells, ceramic parts, evil-eye beads. As a child, this was fascinating. I was in awe. As a young adult, this memory surfaced and served as a reference. At that time, gold and silver dominated the world of jewelry, but I wanted to break loose and expand. Obviously, cement was not the direction, although I must admit that the concept of using adhesive to form a miniature collage of assorted stones and beads on metal parts wasn't that far from that childhood vision. Anyway, memories such as this gave me inspiration, and in a way, encouraged me to generate my own path.

What do you do for fun?

Travel, photograph, dance, listen to music, watch cinema, meet friends, cook.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

Never ever stop playing, and not to be limited with concepts. The actual process is the way, whether it is successful or not, whether it turns up popular or not. If and when the creativity does result in accomplishment and/or critical acclaim, one should not surrender to the feeling of comfort. Such an attitude may result in loss of creativity.

How would you describe your creative process? What do you do at work every day?

I play with matter and material.

Who is your favorite artist? Musician? Writer?

I'm a pluralist. There is no favorite - all are favorites. For instance, I like Ben Harper, Bach, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, classical choirs, and cantorship equally. I like everything. There's an Israeli artist that I appreciate, Bianca Gershoni. She makes sculptures embedding a whole world of raw materials.

When you started designing your jewelry, were you successful right away or did it take a while to establish your brand? Did you ever imagine that your jewelry collection would be sold around the world?

I did not think that I would achieve such success. The local market reacted immediately resulting in instant demand. The international interest came later. All of this was not anticipated. I always wanted to make a living from artistry, and I'm very glad I had the ability to make it happen.

Thanks so much, Ayala!

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