Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Gold-Filled Multi-Chain Necklace
with Swarovski Crystal Circle
Zefat City in Israel is one of the country’s four holy cities as it is a premier location for “kabbalistic and rabbinical studies.”  

Zefat City is also a center for great art with an abundance of painters, sculptors and other artisans.  Israel is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Moncia Nabati.

I think the allure of jewelry lays squarely on the visual sense.  I respond to sinuous forms, muted or vivid colors and surface textures; within a matter of seconds I take that all in. 

Nabati’s extensive jewelry collections in copper, fine and sterling silver, gold-fill, and semi-precious gemstones is a testament to her extraordinary talent.

Not only is she adept at creating handmade jewelry items such as beaded bracelets but she also excels at complex, labor-intensive techniques including Mokume Gane and crocheted gold and silver jewelry wire. 

Her jewelry line is so eclectic and variegated patrons who visit her California-based shop, Monica Designs, in Agoura Hills find it hard to believe she creates so many differentiated pieces herself.

Sterling Silver and Copper Mokume Gane Ring

“Maybe it is because of my Gemini sign that I have so many different personalities,” jokes the 16-year veteran.  “Actually my husband has been learning the trade for some time.  He is a quick study and just recently both of us design and create unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry.”

A graduate of Israel’s Ra'anana College of Arts, Nabati’s prolific design approach is informed by nature of course.  The organic, naturalistic details of such items as the graceful drape of her gold multi-chain Hibiscus Leaf Necklace (made with natural leaves), as well as her hand fabricated copper leaves that are patinated (green verdigris patina) and then heated to obtain an authentic burgundy color of turning leaves are striking.  The distressed look of the patina offers a great antique look. 

Nabati easily goes from the earthy and rustic to supreme elegance and femininity with gold-toned crochet choker necklaces accented with glass beads, freshwater pearls and Swarovski Crystals.

Her Funky and High-Tech collections reflect the designer’s whimsical side highlighting puzzle piece and zipper pendant necklaces, bracelets made with safety pins, and necklaces made with USB Flash and memory cards.
Glass Bead and Safety Pin Cuff Bracelet

“I love to work with a wide range of metals and materials; a lot of them from nature like seeds, feathers and all nature can provide. 

I fell in love with Mokume Gane—a Japanese technique used to make Samurai swords—because the final result resembles wood grain and topographic, geological layers.

Geology is a passion of mine. The technique is strenuous and time-consuming but to see the patterns emerge . . . it is a great satisfaction.”
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