Thoughts about Craft and Textiles

Four local designers shortlisted for the 2022 Edmond de Rothschild Design Award explore the relationship between textiles and craft and their design philosophy, as manifested in the work process
“Craft is a unique process of work: One in which planning and execution overlap and influence one another, in contrast to industrial production methods that rely on separation and hierarchy. Craft can be perceived as a skillful, demanding and cunning encounter of a human and a stubborn, elusive and ever-evolving material.” An excerpt from Reuven Zehavi's article in the book Thoughts about Craft, published by Bezalel.

Here are the insightful thoughts about craft and textiles of four designers shortlisted for the 2022 Rothschild Design Award.
“The intersection of craftsmanship and a unique geometry is the cornerstone of my identity as a fashion designer. For me, the most exciting aspect of fashion and textile design lies in the merging of different disciplines to create a narrative that has an important role in building our multifaceted society,” says Ganit Goldstein. The designer, who in engaged in reverse engineering objects, garments, and textiles, and in the research of innovative 3D technology and the incorporation of adapted materials in the manufacture of clothing, based on body scans and 3D printing. “Fashion offers a unique lens through which we can look at history, and fashion design visually and physically describes the people around us.”
Gali Cnaani, a senior textile designer, says that her work is driven by great respect for history, for the billions of human-hours of those who were here before us – who wove, embroidered, felted, dyed, and printed, perfected all these technologies continuously and created the tremendous variety of textiles in the world. “Textile – which is more ubiquitous than any other material or medium, from the moment we wake up to the time we retire for the day, from birth till death through all of life’s stages, in its everyday or festive appearance – has become almost transparent for many. It is there, but they do not contemplate the fact that someone had designed it, that it is not the automatic output of a machine.
Yael Harnik, a designer specializing in traditional Japanese dyeing techniques, is drawn to repetitive crafts that demand exceptional skill and considerable time. “Fundamentally, textile is a grid or a network through which I can explore systems of order and rhythm. Investigating the structure of textile and the process of its manufacture enables me to better understand how the phenomena that shape our perception of the world exist in a state of continuous motion between the variable and the constant,” she says.
Multidisciplinary designer Tamara Efrat focuses on the preservation and revitalization of textile craft traditions by harnessing advanced digital technologies. “I believe that in a world saturated by mass-produced industrial products, there is a yearning for handcrafted, personal work that embodies a narrative, a unique perspective, and the marks of a labor-intensive creative process. This is why it is essential not only to preserve traditional techniques, but also to creatively translate them into the contemporary realm of concepts.”