TEL AVIV, ISRAEL
As part of the original Around the World in 80 Skeins tour, the 30th stop was to visit Yael Falk, a wire crochet designer living in Israel.
Hi, Yael – welcome to the tour! Let’s begin with where are you from?
I was born and live in Israel, a small country with low resources, which I guess, leads us to be as creative as possible. I did live in Switzerland for a couple of years, and as much as I missed my family, this is the place where I discovered the wire crochet craft and I’ll never stop being grateful for that.
How did you get started crocheting and why did it turn into designing?
A few years ago, as my husband was relocated to Switzerland for work, I found myself with empty hands and started looking around for craft workshops; as I have always loved all kind of crafting (I used to be a little Robinson Crusoe in my childhood backyard!) but my secret dream was to get to design jewelry. I took a one-day course where I discovered the basics of wire crochet. It was love at first sight… and the rest is history.
Is there a big knitting/crochet culture where you live?
Israel is one big melting pot. Our population includes people from so many cultural backgrounds that it would be difficult to pin point the craft culture. You can say that there is a silversmith and pottery history, but on a modern hindsight, I’d say that Israel presents a very multicultural picture.
How does where you live influence your designs?
I am mostly influenced by nature, and Israel offers such a panel of landscape that one’s imagination never stops buzzing: from desert to mountain; and from sea and forests… I live in the Tel Aviv metropolitan, where the urban culture also has quite and accent in itself. I try to keep pure and light lines in my designs which are with no doubt influenced by my surroundings.
What is your design process like? Do you plan it all out before you pick up your hook, or do you let the wire show you where to go?
I have ongoing projects, but often, it’s my hands that surprise me by taking me to an unexpected place. As a trained and active Industrial Designer, my mind is set on a creative mode, every detail surrounding becoming a “what if.” Of course, custom orders requested by customers are also a great source of inspiration that I am always glad to follow.
Where is your favorite place to crochet and design?
Everywhere! You’ll never find me without a hook and some wire in my bag! The technique has such a relaxing mode to it that it is almost therapeutic. Now, if you offer me a comfy armchair in front of a blazing fireplace, I won’t say no!
What is your favorite working snack/beverage?
I’m not much of a cook, but a nice and warm cup of tea is my fave! I love the fall season so it’ll come no surprise to find an apple and cinnamon aroma around me 🙂
Who are your favorite designers?
Do I really have to choose one? I guess that my top top designer that stands out would be Issey Miyake. I have a weak spot for minimalism and innovation, combined with very high aesthetics. Issey Miyake concurs it all… his latest origami collection I have recently seen in the Holon Museum of Design left me speechless.
Is working with the metal wire hard on your hands?
The wire I use is very soft so I don’t feel any tension there… maybe I did get used to it! Over all, there shouldn’t be any consequences on working with wire rather than yarn, when crocheting following my ISK technique (Invisible Spool Knitting). I still take care of my hands for cosmetic purposes and of course for my video tutorials where they hold the major role!
Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio that was inspired by your culture/environment?
If I had to pick one design, I would say the home Décor Pomegranate. It has for me a strong connection to the Israeli climate and culture, as it appears in many Mediterranean cultures, representing fertility and abundance. It’s a DIY pattern is available on Ravelry as well as on my e-shop at www.yooladesign.com. Pomegranates as finished items can be purchased in various shades, sizes and colors both on yooladesign.com and on yoola.etsy.com.
Thank you, Yael, for being a part of the tour and for sharing your beautiful designs with us!