Meet The Maker: Handmade Jewelry by Gily Ilan
In the modern handmade community, boundary-pushing artists are redefining traditional categories and creating objects that almost defy classification. Such is the case with Gily Ilan and her incredible neckwear.
Blending textiles, metals and ceramic pieces together to create one-of-a-kind creations, Gily is an artist worth watching. I am pleased to represent her collection and showcase it in our shop. Enjoy this exclusive interview and be sure to follow her on Instagram. Visiting her shop is a treat, so don’t deny yourself!
What inspired you to begin your collection?
From my earliest childhood memories, I recall my hands always busy in the midst of one craft or another. Over the years, I developed a passion and endless curiosity for the world of materials and honed my work to explore the limits and possibilities of textiles and ceramics.
“GILY ILAN aims to discover and highlight the subtle links that connect contrasting worlds. This is most prominently showcased in the signature collection of scarves and necklaces which feature knit textiles alongside magnetic porcelain clasps. The designs playfully blur the lines of traditional technique and modern application, warm functionality and cool finishing, bold statement and minimalist aesthetic.
Every new design is an opportunity for the maker to foster connections between these unlikely elements and find a balance that is, at once, both provocative and seamlessly organic.” – About the collection
Describe your creative process. Where do you start?
Usually I start by playing with clay in my hand (creating a quick 3D sketch), then I design it in plaster to create the first prototype. The next step is to make a mold and test it with slip casting porcelain. After firing it to 1230 degree I then start playing around with the options I had in mind when creating the shape. Sometimes its the fabric that create the shape in my head and then I start dialogue between the two materials.
How do you maintain your creative drive?
My love and curiosity for all sorts of materials has helped me shape my design esthetic. I try to seek new connections and to manipulate the materials into a wide variety of stories.
What materials do you love to use?
Obviously clay, especially porcelain, and textiles.
Every product has a story. Is there a story behind one of your pieces that stands out to you?
During my first year of design school, I was diagnosed with Gaucher disease, a genetic disorder that stems from a deficient enzyme. I naturally began heavily researching the disorder. I was surprised to find myself growingly fascinated and inspired by the imperfect, yet meticulously connected networks within our biology.
For over a year, I experimented with various techniques and treatments in the fields of ceramic and textiles. I was specifically concerned with the ratio of hard to soft, control to variable, complexity to simplicity, and merging these contrasting concepts into a single, organic design.
This is when I’ve developed my first necklace based on a special knitting technique and the porcelain magnetic clasp (baako).
“My love and curiosity for all sorts of materials has helped me shape my design esthetic. I try to seek new connections and to manipulate the materials into a wide variety of stories.” – About Creativity, Gily Ilan
Do you have a dream collaborator?
The textile artist Dana Barnes.
What are some of the challenges that you face as a maker?
I think that my biggest challenge is to keep challenging my designs and to renew collection, by staying true to my unique line of creation. I challenged myself to find a sensible means of connection between traditionally unrelated materials, techniques, and styles.
How do you use social media and blogging to promote your work?
I put my efforts mostly on Instagram, this is my favorite social media and the best way to connect with maker, blogger and clients.
Where do you see your shop going?
My partner and I are working on a new collection that will be our first collaboration as a couple and as makers in the ceramic field, combining casting and wheel throwing techniques.
In the near future I would like to develop some new products that I have designed in the past and that are also a combination of unusual materials and modern vs. traditional. Some will be in the home styling field.