David sought refuge from Saul in its caves, while King Solomon compared its beauty to his beloved.
Today the beauty of the Ein Gedi region, located near the Qumran Caves in Israel, captivates with its diverse variety of plant and wildlife.
Israel is also the home of featured jewelry designer Tamir Zuman.
Beautiful mosaic patterns, the protective evil eye, and Hamsa talismans are an integral part of Israeli jewelry.
The country's rich spiritual history and distinctive landscapes provide great inspiration for Israeli designers.
With over 20 years in the industry and a worldwide following, Zuman opts for understated, organic forms fashioned from sterling silver offset by intricate etchings, or a bold colored gemstone.
Although one of his collections adheres to traditional Israeli symbolism, Zuman's design approach is basic given to small details that draw the observer in.
Zuman began his career in jewelry art during the mid 80s where he subsequently established a small jewelry studio. With attention to quality artisanship, like many Israeli jewelers, Zuman incorporates inventive jewelry making techniques to create his pieces.
Presently working from a "full-size manufacturing facility," Zuman remains hands-on in each stage of production from conceptual drawings to castings. Though very streamlined and elegant, his designs possess a hearty, unrefined appearance evoking the history of the Old World.
It is incredible that he accomplishes this hand-formed, sculpted appearance with the use of molds. Although I have commented on the subtle beauty of simplistic designs and detailing before, I want to include that these subtleties add soul to Zuman's pieces, making them unique.
He takes a basic form and builds on its smaller details such as using silver as opposed to gold; adding a textured finish instead of high gloss; or using a single opal stone as opposed to a pavé setting.
I do not say this to suggest that there is anything wrong with more ornate jewelry, there isn't.
Both styles require the same skill and forethought and the final products are equally breathtaking, just in different ways.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Ring with Opal Stones
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Gold Bracelet