Thursday, October 30, 2008
An interview with the Queen of Pomegranates....and more!
If you've shopped on Etsy you've seen these enticing pomegranates on the front page. The first time I was captivated by them I sought out who made them and got to know Yael, the artist behind the creations in the Etsy shop Yoola. Not only does Yael create delightful pomegranates, but her shop offers a variety of handknit and crocheted items that all have an airy quality about them. Her latest creations include a line of lampshades that are absolutely fabulous. I was honored when Yael agreed to be interviewed and featured on my blog. She is my first international seller I've featured her and I was thrilled to get to know her better.
When did you first learn to knit and crochet?
I learned the basics of crochet when I was little on one of my summer vacations at my grandma and grandpa's. I was a very crafty girl. :)
What made you choose to work with wire?
When I was living in Switzerlad a couple of years ago, I got bored since I couldn’t work there so I took short classes at a local silversmith, and fell in love. It reminded me that I need to create in order to breathe and be happy.
Your pomegranates are truly a unique find on Etsy. What do pomegranates mean to you and how did you get inspired to make the first one?
Pomegranates are a marvelous fruit, it has many appearances in the Jewish culture as well as in other ancient cultures. A ceramic pom is a common gift for many occasions in Israel. My mom mentioned that to me when I was experimenting with larger patterns…and the rest is history :)
How long does it take you to make the average pomegranate?
It takes me about three hours. I call it my meditation. I concentrate and it gives me inner peace and quiet.
You obviously like the color red, does it have any particular symbolism/meaning to you or is it just a favorite color?
I believe everything has a reason, meaning if I love red or use a lot of red in my work then it must be something that I need in order to give me more strength or more quiet, whatever I am lacking. So red for me is happiness and fire, warmth and life.
I've never been to Israel, but I've come to admire some great artists from your country. Are handmade items and the arts appreciated in Israel?
I'm embarrassed to say, but I don’t know. As an artist I’m only alive in Etsy and the internet. I don’t think I could make a living out of it as I do with my design firm, so maybe this is the answer…..
Do artists pass down their skills to the next generation?
Israel is a young country inventing itself from scratch. People came here during the 19th and 20th centuries from all over the world. They were a generation that did not want to live their parent’s life in Europe. They wanted a land of their own. They revived the Hebrew which was dead for 2000 years and they needed to build this country with no agriculture, building, or army skills. So I think tradition in Israel today is not something appreciated or passed on. We need to grow up first.
What is your favorite item in your store right now and why?
I’m in love with my Scheherazade lamps. I have wanted to design lamps for years and finally I have. I was so excited when the first one was finished...really excited. I'm just as excited about people's feedback. They love them too.
Do you have anything else you'd like to share?
Etsy life is something really extraordinary. It gives me the opportunity to be an artist and meet wonderful and warm people like you, Valerie. Thank you so much for supporting me. It means the world to me. (editor's note: You're quite welcome. I feel the same way about you!)
Due to space constraints, I've only shown you a few of Yael's creations. Be sure to check out her Etsy store to see more of her work, including delightful jewelry and home decor!