I had the pleasure of interviewing Shay Aaron, a wonderfully talented young jewelry artist based in Israel. His adorable line of polymer food jewelry and charms are so incredibly realistic. It’s exciting to see familiar dishes or yummy pastries being used as a jewelry. A wonderful treat without any calories! I sent Shay my list of questions. Here are his answers..
Honey: Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Shay: My name is Shay; I’m 24 years old and live in the holy land of Israel. I’m working in a daily center for adults and children with special needs and I also teach crafts for a living.
Honey: Did you always think you were creative or is it something that you discovered later on in life?
Shay: I always remember myself as a creative boy. I grew up with scissors in my hand and never stopped to handcraft. Five years ago, I discovered the polymer clay and I fell in love with this great material, but still work with so many other materials.
Honey: How did you learn to make jewelry? What originally led you down the path of jewelry design?
Shay: Before I start to make my Mini Food Jewels, I made tons of fimo beads, using the famous Millefiori technique. But so many people do this kind of art, so I stopped. I never learn how to make jewelry by myself. I have two big sisters who inspired me and taught me what women wants! Nowadays, I create dollhouse miniatures and food jewelry.
Honey: What initially inspired you to create “food jewelry”?
Shay: Oh, there are so many things which inspired me! I collect food magazines and flyers, and have towers of cooking and baking books. I get inspirations from Jamie Oliver to my mom’s kitchen. I usually make dollhouse items, but sometimes I feel like this tiny sandwich should dangle on someone’s ears.
Honey: What kind of materials do you use?
Shay: The major material has to be polymer clay. I’m also combining metal,paper, resin, acrylic paints, glass, ceramic and much more materials in my work. I’m always searching for new clays and for unconventional supplies to include in my work.
Honey: Do you start with the materials or a drawing or do they just come to you as you work? Could you describe a little bit about your process?
Shay: Well, sometimes I do sketches. Usually, when I start to work on a new miniature project, I collect so many photos and information for inspiration. I’m always looking for new and creative dishes on the net, searching in different magazines and books. In 1:12 dollhouse scale, the size of the item is an important issue, so I need to make sure that the item has the correct measurements. Color and texture.. a combination of the both will produce the best and realistic miniature food. Sometimes I found myself fighting with mixing clays for the perfect color and shade for the tiny treat. I use unconventional tools for the texture; a tooth brush, aluminum foil, table cloth and much more funny and unexpected tools.
Honey: What are the rewards and challenges in creating these real small sculptures?
Shay: A plenty of clay do their way to the trash, because I just can’t hold myself from trying new ideas of clay food. I’m always holding a tiny notebook in my pocket and writing down new ideas for new projects. I love to challenge myself with new and ambitious projects, and when I’m done, I expect from everyone to comment about my last design.
Honey: What have been some of your favorite jewelry pieces you’ve created and why?
Shay: It’s too hard for me to say, because I love all my creations. I adore my sandwich earrings collection. It takes me couple of hours to make one tiny pair of them, but they are so detailed and charming, so its worth every second. I’m so proud in my miniatures from the Mediterranean cuisines, I think I have made an excellent job with this collection too.
Honey: Who would you like to see your jewelry on? Got an ideal client?
Shay: I believe that my clients are people who have tons of sense of humor and are truly open-minded. I love to see people enjoying my art and wearing my stuff, it makes me feel good. My handmade jewelries are pretty reasonable price wise. Right now, I just can’t think about the ideal client. I promise to inform you when I can think of one.
Honey: What is the most unusual piece you have made?
Shay: Oh my, you name it! The basket full of veggies necklace and the salmon steaks studs are definitely unusual pieces to wear.
Honey: What’s your favorite food?
Honey: One place you could travel right now?
Shay: The States!
Honey: Where would you like to take your craft next? What’s your next goal?
Shay: To build the ultimate dollhouse! I’m in a process of collecting items and materials for my 1:12 kitchen, bakery shop, seafood and supermarket sections. I hope to finish at least one section until the end of the year. Another goal of mine is to keep with the food jewelry items which I love, to be inventive and unique, and to come up with new ideas, techniques and interesting items.
Honey: Where can people buy your work?
Shay: My food jewelry collection is available at my Etsy shop. I will open my second online shop of handmade dollhouse food in 1:12 and 1:6 scales soon. I’ll keep you posted about that one for sure.