Monday, February 15, 2010


In Israel, located just five miles west of Jericho, sits Hasmonean Palace, a magnificent structure with water channels, terraces, and an enormous swimming pool. Israel is also home to featured jewelry designer Dori Csengeri.

The art of embroidered hand stitching has a long history dating back to the fur clothing worn by Cro-Magnon man!

According to archaeologists excavations in Iran, Egypt, and Russia have uncovered that prehistoric man was adorned with ivory beads as well as decorative embroidery incorporating gemstones and silk thread.

With the introduction of hand powered embroidery looms and sewing machines in the late 19th century, hand-sewn embroidery items became far and few between.

However, Csengeri, a textile designer, was determined to bring back this lost art form melding it with the art of jewelry making.

"Embroidery work is a tradition that is on the verge of disappearing from our world," she explains. "My work contributes to the conversation of hand stitched patterns being a feminine craft. There is an inherent beauty in the fact that we do everything by hand, in a company of women."

A lover of fashion, art, and fabric design, 18 years ago Csengeri developed her intricate pattern work while looking for a new creative outlet. "I practiced textile design for many years, and I was looking for another way to be creative," she says.

"I studied painting at the Academie de Port-Royal after my husband and I moved to Paris. I was experimenting with textile materials and created a soutache (braided) cord, which evolved into lapel brooches.

I then started to develop a needlework technique that allowed for the creation of small or larger braided cord pieces. These cord pieces are the foundation used to make my jewelry."

The kaleidoscopic colors, courtesy of Swarovski crystals, cherry quartz, gold dust and turquoise glass, and crystal briolette are breathtaking, multifaceted, statement making, and bold.

The boundless patterns are striking whether the hues are fluorescent and bright, deep and earthy, or muted and neutral. You never lose sight of the flowing, vibrant patterns in alternately streamlined and opulent designs, a signature for many Israeli jewelry artists from Ayala Bar to Michal Negrin.

Csengeri captures what I feel is the artistic soul of Israel, an astonishing beauty that, for me anyway, is neither excessive nor gaudy. The pieces are simply stunning in their complexity and Csengeri brings her walk through life to each creation.
"I try to create something different for women; something fresh, and exciting so she can play the game of fashion and participate in the creation of her own image," says the Tootal Fabrics graduate.

The designer's stunning collections are sold around the world in London, Zurich, Tokyo, and Chicago.
Photo 1 (top right): Hand Embroidered Candy Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Hand Embroidered Pink Fiji Earrings
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