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    Artist Spotlight: Emily Rosenfeld

    Today we are highlighting one of our favorite jewelry and Judaica designers- Emily Rosenfeld! Her designs are simple, timeless and yet whimsical. She is also the sweetest and we love working with her, so we wanted to know more, and share a little more about Emily with you.

    Shop Emily's Collection here.

    Have you always been an artist? How did you get started?

    I have made jewelry for my whole adult life.  I started during a gap year in college and continued after I graduated as an English major.  Working for other designers not only taught me skills, but it showed me what a creative life looked like.  I wanted to live with that kind of freedom to be myself, create a community and working life all at once.  Three years after graduating, I started my own business, in a murphy bed closet in our tiny, perfect Oakland apartment.

    There are a lot of nature elements in your pieces. What inspires your designs?

    I draw a lot of inspiration from nature, from plants especially; my garden is another very real creative adventure.  But I also draw from textiles, both prints and embroidered designs, patterns I loved since I was young.  Because I studied literature and writing, I am also inspired by the desire to communicate, clearly.  Using words in my work has been very important.  My goal is to make meaningful pieces, whether it is through symbols or language, I want it to resonate.

    How did you get into Judaica?

    My second year in business, I started getting requests from my stores for Judaic jewelry pieces.  My line has always been very graphic, using representational, rather than abstract shapes.  My buyers saw that would lend itself easily to adding Jewish Stars and Chai's which is what I started with.  Being Jewish, they felt comfortable asking.  Those pieces sold well immediately.  Wanting to build on that success and also feeling like I had stumbled into supremely comfortable and welcoming territory, I started to explore possibilities beyond jewelry.  Mezuzot were the first Judaic pieces I designed.  I loved working in a new way, carving wax, rather than only sawing metal.  I loved the meaning and the possibilities.  The response to that first group of three Mezuzot was so strong, it inspired me to keep exploring.  Growing up culturally Jewish, but not practicing, making Judaic art has been a way to learn and explore my faith.

    Any future designs you can share with us?

    That is a tough one.  I usually sit down with my notebook, a pencil and a big eraser with little sense of what is going to happen until something takes shape, usually after a lot of erasing. I will say that I am excited about my new Line Drawn Mezuzot series, and will definitely be adding to that group, as well as to the sculptural ones.  Tzedakah feels so important, especially now, there will be new box designs soon as well. 

    Anything else you'd like to add!

    I feel so lucky to get to do this work.  To be part of people's traditions, to find a place in their homes or as part of what they wear is an honor and something for which I will always feel grateful.

     

    Shop Emily's collection here!

    A Modern-Twist on a Jewish Star for Your Table

    Greetings from the NYIGF (New York International Gift Fair) one of the biggest gift trade shows in the world. This is where I do much of my Judaica shopping for ModernTribe. All of the major Judaica manufacturers and reps come to this show. There is also a large number of Israeli artisans who come via the Israeli Export Coop.

    One of the most important aspects of my "job" is finding cool Jewish gifts and stuff that isn't marketed as being Judiac or Jewish. My best find in this department today is from Modern-Twist. They manufacture silicone placemats and coasters which can simply be wiped down and never require laundering or ironing (and the coolest ever wine stem tags). A bunch of this line we will be stocking for sale at ModernTribe.com.

    Check out these designs -- perfect for your holidays and beautiful and subtle enough for every day.A set of four coasters will sell for $20. Placements are $17 each. Coming soon!

    When I Wish Upon a Jewish Star

    I found a thoughtful write up on Jewish graphic design from a designer named Rev Cruz. He entered a logo design contest we sponsored on Worth1000 to design ModernTribe's logo. We asked the contestants to reinvent the Star of David.

    Rev Cruz was one of many many (40+) submissions and it was one we really liked. We didn't end up choosing his design for our brandmark but we did purchase the design and will be using it somewhere -- I think it would look great on a t-shirt! What do you think?

    Here is Rev Cruz's post:
    Perelandran Chronicles: Logo Design: Center for Jewish Values and ModernTribe

    and here is his super design he writes he emulated from club music innovators Hed Kandi:

    Pointing Guns and Knocking Skulls


    Guns and skulls are hot. Through our 11 hour tromp through New York's Midtown neighborhoods, we saw these motifs over and over (e.g., 3Guns Vase by SuckUK). I soon found myself searching for skull tees.




    Grave motifs for a country supposedly obsessed with safety and peace. Maybe it's an expression of our unspoken desire to be carrying that gun.

    I wanted skulls for ModernTribe and was wondering... are there skull + star of David motifs? Yah. I hunted them down and you can find them here.