Esther Knobel

Textile, Fashion & Jewelry Design
Established Designer Award

“My work grows in relation to conceptual movements that have influenced the field of jewelry making since the beginning of the 20th century, and while listening to the state of continuous unease characterizing the relationship between the meaning of art and craft".

Knobel is a renowned, award-winning jewelry designer whose works are exhibited all over the world. She has a bachelor’s degree in jewelry design from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, and a master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London. Her work is positioned around the perimeter, in between disciplines, “free” art versus “applied” art. She puts herself in meeting points between control and lack of control and the unknown, disrupting traditional techniques and inventing do-it-yourself-type techniques.

Knobel is a recipient of the 2022 Edmond de Rothschild Design Award for Established Fashion, Textile, and Jewelry Designers.

The jury panel’s decision:
"The Edmond de Rothschild Design Award is granted to Esther Knobel in recognition of her unfailingly creative work. Esther Knobel's body of work showcases creative productivity and reflects captivating intellectual flexibility. It is rooted in conceptual currents influencing the field of jewelry design, focusing on fundamental and relevant questions explored intensively over the past century: can jewelry-making and design stand on their own as art, and what distinguishes such art from applied art?

With a delicate touch, Knobel's creations invite viewers to follow a shared narrative, marveling at an image or memory of local material. She guides us into an imagined space, blurring the lines between the present and fantasy. Her unique touch remains distinct and identifiable as she transitions between handcraft and various technologies, exploring diverse materials and additional mediums in addition to classical jewelry-making techniques, like engraving, ceramics, and enamel on cast metal. Knobel examines the concept of 'value' in jewelry, choosing materials that range from the esteemed and traditional end of the spectrum, such as silver, gold, and precious stones, to the seemingly lowly or worthless. Whether precious or everyday objects, and even perishable materials, all materials on Knobel's table receive respect and meticulous care. From her body of work emerges a distinct essence, a unique line that has become, over the last five decades, a solid foundation in local material culture, upon which many designers rely.

For her insatiable curiosity, continuous creative output, and significant contribution to both local and international jewelry design, Esther Knobel is awarded the 2022 Edmond de Rothschild Design Award in Textile, Fashion, and Jewelry Design, in the category of Established Designer".