Fantastic and beautiful Bag with Bedouin embroidery
by Yael of PAZZA PAZZA
UPDATE: March 8, 2010, I recently heard from Yael and she told me she had to close her Etsy shop PAZZA PAZZA due to personal reasons. While you won't get to see her gorgeous creations, other than the photos I have here in this interview, you can still read about this delightful artist. Yael has started a blog, which is very interesting, so be sure to pay her a visit at:
I am truly happy to have Yael, who lives in Israel, and her Etsy shop, PazzaPazza, here on DZFANTASY as a featured artist. Now, when you read Yael's interview below you will see that she says she thinks of herself as more of a crafter, but when I saw her beautifully designed bags, I definitely see the artist in her!
First let's hear, in Yael's own words, how she got started in her creativity!
What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I love that you not only put the term “art” here but you also add “craft,” because I think I am much more a craft person than an artist, though occasionally an artistic spark may strike me now and again. If I had to describe what I do, I would say that I create beautiful, decorative and useful things with a strong focus on good workmanship. My creations are usually very colorful and I like to add beads, tassels, ribbons, buttons and lace as well wherever the piece seems to communicate the need.
Growing up in Germany, I was never very good in school when it came to crocheting potholders and knitting socks. That was sheer horror for me! I also do not remember myself as a child drawing or creating things because creativity was never encouraged by my parents, teachers or the culture in general. But I always loved beautiful things and was drawn to nature, especially to trees and meadows and wild flowers. I always tried to make my and my sister's room pretty by putting flowers on the table or draping a scarf over the lamp. What I mean to say is I probably had an eye for beauty from a young age and always appreciated and loved it. I have a very early memory of a visit to an aunt during which she sent me into her beautiful garden and gave me some tiny vessels and vases made from unglazed clay to play with. It was such a lovely moment…I can still feel the flowers over my head and still imagine myself playing in the sunshine among the flowers and weeds with those lovely things. That day, I was completely happy!
It wasn’t until I got married (very young) and had children that I started creating things. I sewed clothes for them, crocheted ponchos and scarves, knitted sweaters and so on.
That was also the time I made my first patchwork throw - it was a present for my sister. One side had green and blue patches, the other side had patches in red shades. To my great sorrow, my sister passed away already, but this throw lives on in one of her daughters’ homes. It is about forty years old by now. It was not quilted because at that time I had no idea about quilting and patchwork. Then one day I found a Burda magazine which had patchwork wall hangings in it, with explanations as to how to do it. From that time on I was hooked!
I got divorced and not long after that married again and moved with my husband to Israel, where I have been living now for almost 30 years. This is my true home and homeland. In 1989 my husband was assigned to work in the United States, so we lived for four years in California and one year in Texas. Of course, once there I indulged in everything related to patchwork and quilting! It was a great time and I learned a lot. I did not take many workshops, but there was this abundance of books coming out. Patchwork and quilting was just newly being considered as an art form and everything was very exciting! All those quilt fabric stores! All those quilt exhibitions! The lovely American Quilters Museum in San Jose! Returning to Israel I found that a Quilters and Patchwork Association had just been established and this art and craft form gained momentum here too. It was terrific!
After making a lot of wall hangings and bed quilts, I eventually settled down to making mostly bags which I sold in two galleries in Israel. Some months ago I opened PazzaPazza on Etsy and a short while after that I opened FabricCrafts there as well, where I sell smaller items which make for very suitable gifts.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I actually never decided, rather all the planets aligned for me. I guess it all started with that patchwork throw I made for my sister.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
That would be just designing something new, throwing all my fabrics on the table, getting more and more excited, making a BIG mess in my work room, cutting and trying to figure out how it would look best, having another and another idea and sewing the first item of a new line. Only after all that do I get organized, clean up, put everything back in its place and start working a little less like a mad hatter.
Backpack with appliqued pomegranates
If you had to choose a fruit or a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose and why?
Oh, that I can answer in a wink without thinking a second - it would surely and absolutely be the pomegranate. I LOVE every aspect of the pomegranate. The trees flowering in spring, those lovely stars developing into a gorgeous fruit…it is beautiful, sweet and marvelous! It is really a royal fruit, fit for a king and also for the poor, symbol of fertility, bounty and eternity, mentioned throughout the centuries from Greek mythology to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. There is no bigger pleasure than to open a ripe pomegranate enjoying the sight of it and then eating the juicy kernels one after the other…yummy!!! Many, many times I have used the pomegranate motif in my work, appliqued on bags, backpacks, clutches, potholders, place mats, fabric boxes, you name it.
Messenger Bag with appliqued zebras
If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your "creativity", what would that be and why?
Lately, I’ve started getting a little bit into the medium of papier mache and I like that very much! The possibilities with this medium are endless and you can create very nice and pretty pieces even if you are not an artist. I find it also a very relaxing form of creative expression, because one can never finish a piece in a day or two or even a week. It’s a slow going process because it has to dry out many times at different points so I have to work on it in stages. Since it can take weeks before I finish, it gives me a chance to practice my patience!
What advice do you have for other artist/crafters?
DO WHAT YOU LOVE and do it as well and perfectly as you can!
Yael, what a delightful interview! You described my feelings about pomegrantes!! I LOVE them....such an exquisite fruit!
Thanks again, for taking the time to share your thoughts and your artistic creativity with everyone.