Gittit Szwarc, the designer of Knobbly Studio in Israel, crafts minimalistic jewellery that interacts with the human form. All items are handmade in their studio in Jaffa, Israel, mainly from locally sourced materials. Influenced by the human form, Gittit considers all factors when designing; what will it look like from an angle, how will it move when she moves and how does it relate to the natural lines of her body. Lola Who had the chance to talk to Gittit about her inspirations, her design process and what’s next for Knobbly Studio.
Lola Who: How would you describe Knobbly Studio to someone who has never heard of it before?
Gittit: Streamlined, minimalistic jewellery with sculptural elements, designed to feel like a second skin.
Lola Who: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Gittit: I’m inspired by the human form! I love seeing jewellery bring out something glowing in the person who wears it. I often structure my pieces around a particular angle or shape that I think will have a highlighting effect.
Lola Who: What inspired you to make such a dramatic change from capoeira to jewellery design?
Gittit: In 2008, I had to stop doing capoeira unexpectedly because of an illness. I took the time to go to school and study psychobiology for a couple years. While I was there, I started making accessories for myself, and it was my classmates’ enthusiasm that made me think there was something there. I left school and went back to teaching capoeira while I was building my brand. In fact, I was still teaching children until earlier this year when I had to take a break to focus on my business. I’m pretty passionate about movement and education, so I hope to be able to get back to it on some level by next year.
Lola Who: How do you think your knowledge of the body and movement influences your design?
Gittit: I think the influence is more of a perspective. Every design I make starts with an effect I’m looking for that stands in relationship with the body. It might be how the lines of the piece relate to the contour of the body, or a certain highlighting effect I want the jewel to give when the person turns her head.
Lola Who: What does your design process consist of?
Gittit: Up until the latest collection, my design process was all about filling a metaphorical hole—creating a design that I felt needed to exist or wanted for myself. My first collection of minimalist ear cuffs, for example, I came up with only because my ears are not pierced, and I couldn’t find ear cuffs to buy that weren’t very blingy and over-the-top. The Line+Surface collection is the first one where I had a structured design process. I wanted to find a new direction, but I was scrapping piece after piece; everything I came up with felt like it had already been done. So I ended up spending a week sifting through my Pinterest from an observational distance, looking for patterns that turned me on. I’ve always been slightly obsessed with anything perforated, and it was when I realized that these personal obsessions were there to be leveraged into design, that everything started to really flow.
What are your three favourite pieces in the collection?
Gittit: The Grid+Lever necklace, perforated ear cuff and perforated ring are the most personal pieces in the collection, and they’re the ones that really light me up. In every collection, there’s always an item or two that I’m not sure anyone will “get” who isn’t inside my head, so I was really happy that these became customer favourites.
Lola Who: Finally, what is your goal for Knobbly Studio?
Gittit: I’d love to experiment with new materials and designs that are outside of my “small-and-streamlined” comfort zone. I’m lucky to have a terrific team that handles most of the studio workflow, giving me more time to dream up new things.
Lola Who: Do you have any special projects for 2016 that you would like to share?
Gittit: I’ll be releasing a capsule collection in early December, with three new pieces incorporating perforated leather. It’s been in the works for nearly six months and I’m super excited to show it.
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