Ayala Bar is an artist that we have had the pleasure of carrying at Dandelion for many years. We always look forward to seeing what new colors, shapes, and materials her seasonal collections will bring! We love her unique style and brilliant contrasts and combinations.
Ayala began making jewelry in the 1980s; as a creative person working in many mediums, she saw jewelry-making as a way of making a living as an artist. She loved drawing, sculpture, and embroidery, but she was drawn to the way jewelry could be so expressive and combine several creative mediums at once. She approaches her designs as a form of collage or "matchmaking," using contrasting materials and creating unexpected combinations and interactions.
She recalls, "Back in the 1980s when I first started, most jewelry tended to be made of precious metals such as gold and silver as well as modeling clays, which was popular at the time. Being an outsider, I actually had an advantage. My designs were different. Unexpected. They incorporated materials that were unconventional: metals with fabrics, beads, plaster, wood, and different findings. I was actually selling miniature artifacts. The initial collections had mosaic-like qualities to them, virtually reminiscent of the ancient Byzantine era."
Ayala's work has evolved over the years and continues to evolve to this day. She describes her influences as coming more from the outside world (in the form of materials and things that come into her life randomly or by chance) than from ideas within herself.
Among her influences, she notes that her cultural background has been an inspiration from the beginning. "My grandmother, who is still alive at the age 104, emigrated from Afghanistan to Israel in the 1920s. She carried her baby for most of the 2000 mile journey. This baby was my father. At one point, I visited a museum featuring jewels from Afghanistan. As I walked through the gallery, I was amazed. I noticed the parallels between the artifacts on display and my own work."
Throughout her years as a jewelry designer, she has found inspiration in many ways, including beautiful plants and objects found in nature, silk and textiles found during her travels in India, yarn that she felt drawn to from her background in costume design, and metals that contrast with her softer materials.
Part of the allure of her work, besides its inherent beauty, is the evidence of the constant evolution of the designs. Every season brings something fresh and unique while staying true to her distinctive style.
"I am happy to think that I can bring joy to others through what I make. I am fortunate to have the scope to develop and refresh my collections rather than remain static. It is my hope to continue to evoke curiosity and intrigue through my artistic productivity. For me, this is the true essence of what Ayala Bar stands for."
The Ayala Bar collection is handcrafted in Israel and is nickel-free and lead-free. Despite the fact that many of her earrings are large statements, we typically find them to be surprisingly lightweight and comfortable. We love that she uses a mix of lever back hooks and sturdy posts. Her necklaces are always adjustable and pair beautifully with the earrings or can stand alone.