“The passion for art and design has always existed in me,” jewelry designer Shanny Alon says. While on a trip to East Asia, Shanny fell in love with gems and the manipulation of metals and decided to turn her hobby into a career. Now, Shanny uses seemingly incongruous materials such as leather and metal to design jewelry that honors nature’s beauty. The glowworm inspires the pieces in her current collection: Each segmented, geometric jewel elegantly mimics the shape and movement of the insect. “Its body structure and the light it shines made me want to emulate the beauty and sophistication that exist in nature.” Learn more about how nature inspires Shanny Alon’s stunning collection.
I grew up in Petah Tikwa, Israel. I’ve been drawn to the creative world of art since I was young, and the choice to make my hobby into a profession was very natural and clear to me.
I completed my studies at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. After I graduated, I decided to give up the faster pace of urban life for the benefit of rural life filled with of nature. Today I live in a farm in Moshav Rinatia and am enjoying my peaceful life.
The passion for art and design has always existed in me. The choice of jewelry began on a long journey to East Asia that opened up a fascinating and colorful world of gems and jewels. I started a year of traveling in 2003 and I visited Thailand, India and Cambodia. I met amazing cultures and artists who let me into their world. In India, I spent hours with jewelry artists and goldsmiths, observing the whole process of creating a jewel. The fire that involves and the creation of bright and shiny jewels out of a dirty process fascinated me. The first thing that I did when I came back to Israel was register for a goldsmith course. That was the beginning of me falling in love with jewels.
The ability to control hard materials such as metal and shape them made me fall in love with making jewelry. I combine classic gold crafting with different materials that take tradition out of its rut.
I think my jewelry is influenced by two opposing worlds: urban versus organic. The inspiration for this collection began in looking at the firefly worm. Its body structure and the light it shines made me want to emulate the beauty and sophistication that exist in nature.
This collection is made of links in quadrangular shapes. By varying the size and composition I have created jewelry with symmetric geometric structure. The links are connected to each other by joints, which give the jewels displacement ability. I chose to set them with different kinds of leather in order to emphasize the vitality and softness of the leather.
I love to combine contrasting materials. I chose to use strong material such as brass, which gives the jewel a solid structure, with flexible natural skins. To me, skin symbolizes the way nature integrates with the environment. Each jewel gets a unique look, depending on the skin type and texture.
I always have many ideas in my mind that I want to let out, but not enough time to do that. My creative challenge is mostly minimizing my options and choosing the right and attainable one.
When I did my research on the larvae's body structure, I noticed that there is one form that repeats itself throughout the body and that it doesn’t have many organs, which make it crawl easily. [It is] so small and yet move so elegantly.
The colors and textures fascinated me. I decided to create a collection from one repetitive specific form, which produces a variety of complex compositions. With different leather types, colors and textures, the jewel conveys a powerful message.
The biggest challenge was my desire to disengage modernization, to live in a far and isolated place filled with nature and still stay up to date with fashion in order to produce current and fashionable jewelry. After leaving home I realized I missed it, my family and friends, so I found a temporary solution that allows me to have it all: I moved to a moshav close to home and every time I feel the need to be updated and refreshed, I know that Tel Aviv is only a drive away.
My clients are strong independent women who appreciate art and are not afraid to put on a unique and ruff jewels on them.
I love big jewels with strong [presence], so my favorite piece is the “Lucciola” necklace. I think it embodies all the characteristics that were important for me to show: modularity, symmetry and strength.
I think that every designer is different from the other and each one finds his own suitable way. The main thing is to do your art with love and passion and stay true to yourself.
When I want to relax and get inspired I get in my car and drive to the lowest spot on earth: the Dead Sea. It’s located in a magical desert area with an open view. The amount of salt and minerals inside the sea make your body float on the water and your soul floats to other healing dimensions. Another place that makes my heart beat faster is Jaffa, an ancient city that combines three different cultures: Christians, Arabs and Jews. The combination creates a very special atmosphere. Old buildings with galleries, a fishing port, and a colorful and vibrant flea market… there’s always something to do.