Let me show you a few of my own favorites.
My recent favorite of Irith's pieces are these earrings with tourmalines.
Or have a look at this oh so luscious necklace with sapphires and red agate!
I'll give the word to Irith now however or I'll be tempted to show you her whole shop before she gets the chance to speak about herself.
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.
My name is Irith Rita Mashiah. I was born in Israel and have lived here ever since.
I grew up in Tiberias, a small town named after the Roman Caesar Tiberius, by the Sea of Galilee which is actually a lake.
What's your art and how did you get to do it in the first place?
In spite of the fact that I have an academic degree in arts from the University of Haifa, I had worked as a legal secretary for about 25 years. I was not very happy with this job as I felt it did not go well with my character. It came to me one day that I should take my dreams a little more seriously, and I decided to begin my studies as a metalsmith in evening classes at the Wizo Institute in Haifa.
Luckily for me, our firm had moved to a different area in the country, and I could go on early retirement. This was the chance for me to become an "official" jewelry designer and metalsmith in silver, gold and stones.
|Silver and garnet necklace|
I think this is one of the most asked questions - where does your inspiration come from?
I truly believe that the ancient historical background of Tiberias and the beauty of the Golan mountains, half surrounding the lake, have turned me into a person with an eternal need for beauty and have enhanced my creativity.
Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?
I used to love to collect old blouses and shirts, cut them into different shapes and create patchwork items, such as cushion covers, pictures, bedspreads.
Also - every once in a while I try to draw and paint.
Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?
This flower necklace is only one of my favorites.
It was also one of the more complicated items. The reason for this is that creating a hollow form flower requires using a few strips of flat silver and soldering them together to create the shape of a flower. One should also take care to design the necklace in a way which will prevent it from turning over while being worn.
Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?
I admire so many great artists, each in his own field. There is no particular person who inspires me.
If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?
I wish I could use 24k Gold as freely as I use other metals. It is very malleable and easy to work with.
Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?
I sell online on Etsy at RioRita.
Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?
May you never lose your temper!
Try to be creative every minute of your life, but also learn to relax from time to time.
|Prehnite silver ring|
Have fun browsing in Irith's shop and if you feel the irresistible urge to treat me with the tourmaline earrings, I won't say No!! ;-)