Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meet the Artist - With Irith Rita Mashiah

I have been getting a lot of requests to join the Etsy Israel Team lately. One of which was from Irith Rita Mashiah, whose unique ancient styled jewelry caught my eye almost immediately.

I had my ears pierced relatively late in life, and am in a constant search for one of a kind additions to my earrings collection. I can't think of a single pair of silver earrings I owned or wanted past the age of 30. Silver just ain't my thing. I like either matte gold or non precious metals, but when I visited Irith's Etsy shop for the first time it was love at first sight. And you will shortly see why.

Tell my readers a bit about yourself

My name is Irith Rita Mashiah . I call my jewelry shop Riorita. I have been a silver and goldsmith for
the last 15 years and enjoy every minute of it. I live in Haifa Israel, by the Meditteraenean, and my workshop is situated in a small artists "colony" in Kibbutz Ein Carmel near Haifa. There is a lawn with statues and more workshops of various artists across my workshop.

When and how did you begin to make jewelry? Is this your only creative medium?

I've always tried various creative activities. I used to knit all my sweaters and crochet anything from table cloths to small curtains. I used to sew all my clothes but ever since I started jewelry making, all I have in my mind is jewelry design.
I started creating jewelry after I got tired of working as a legal secretary. I remember that during a lunch break, I passed by a silver smith's shop, looked at his window and thought to myself: "I think this is what I want to do… I am going to try it!". Following this thought, I began my studies at the Wizo Art school in Haifa.

Where do you sell your art? Is this your day job?

I sell my jewelry in the main gallery of Ein Hod ,an artists' village close to where I work, in Tefen art gallery shop, and more galleries around Israel. Many of my jewelry items are sold abroad. Yes, this is my day job.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Mostly what inspires me is nature. My workshop is surrounded with many trees and flowers, symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes with statues, paintings, animals, flowers, colors etc. I look around me, breath in the sights and sounds, and walk into my workshop with new ideas in my mind. On the other hand I love to go through archaeology books and I try to "enter" the minds of ancient metal smiths minds and create my own jewelry through their inspiration, as if to continue their ideas.

I feel an ancient, almost biblical, vibe when looking at your work. Is the fact you are Israeli (or Jewish) reflects in your jewelry?

I never thought there was something biblical in my my work, but now that you mention it, and following your former question, I may add that I've always admired the jewelry of the old Bezalel silversmith school in Jerusalem, where they used to create jewelry inspired by biblical themes. I realize now that it probably subconsciously reflects on my jewelry! Thank you for enabeling me to think of it that way!

What is your favorite item of all times?

There are quite a few items which are my favorites. One of them is this crochet silver bracelet.

Want to see more of Irith's work? Here is a gallery of her work and this is her website.


Jo Hoffacker said...

Absolutely stunning work. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Sharona R. said...

Thank you Jo!

niftyknits said...

stunning work, thanks for sharing with us raisinlike :-)

Distressing Delilah a.k.a. jenn said...

Beautiful work!