Based in Israel, Michal Bendzel Friedman’s work screams primal beauty. Once a makeup artist in the film and television industry, Michal often refers back to her previous career in the arts when designing and draws inspiration from colours, beauty and raw elements.
Handcrafting fluid, organic forms using gold, silver and integrated precious gemstones, Michal invents new works-of-art that she hopes the wearer will be able to connect with. Her designs are honest, organic and made to last a lifetime. We chat to Michal about finding magic and fulfilment in jewellery design.
How did you get into jewellery design?
“I created my first piece of jewellery when I was in elementary school while participating in a special course. Later, I created many more pieces of jewellery using Fimo/clay and sold them on the street. Years later while working as a make-up artist I decided to learn how to create jewellery using gold, still just as a hobby. Throughout this studying period, I fell in love with it again and started my new career as a jewellery designer.”
What drove you to start your own jewellery line?
“After the birth of my third child, I understood that working as a make-up artist didn’t suit my lifestyle anymore due to the long hours. Jewellery designing was an old love; it was as easy decision to make. The magic I find in creating jewellery and the idea that jewellery can stay for many years fulfils me.”
"The magic I find in creating jewellery and the idea that jewellery can stay for many years fulfils me."
How has your childhood influenced you as a designer?
“I grew up in a very warm and friendly neighbourhood, we all knew each other. I had a homeroom teacher from the grades 1st-4th whom I loved very much; she was also from my neighbourhood. She was a gentle, aesthetic, warm and smart woman. She taught us using imagery, music, drama and many outdoor trips. I am sure that she influenced my life greatly and my choice of career as well.”
Values are hugely important to us at Jewelstreet. What are your core brand values?
“Values are very important to me. I value freedom, enthusiasm, lightness, strength and surprise. These are expressed in my jewellery. My jewels are colourful and joyful; they combine stones in unconventional and unique styles. This style combines raw and exquisite together, resulting in a unique fashion.”
"I value freedom, enthusiasm, lightness, strength and surprise. These are expressed in my jewellery."
What inspires you?
“Inspiration comes from things I see or experience. Many times I vision the jewels I later create, without even aiming for it.”
What's the most meaningful piece of jewellery you’ve ever received?
“The piece I cherish most is a necklace I received from my parents. It is so dear to me because they gave it to me and they are no longer alive. However, today, I wear only jewellery I create, and I fall in love with each piece and wear it for a while until I move on to my next love.”
Are there any clients you are particularly proud of?
“I have a client who bought a special ring for his spouse. He knew exactly what he wanted for her. Later, I found out that it is a second marriage for both and that they have 8 kids together. It was obvious that after 10 years together, with many difficulties, she is very important to him and he loves her dearly.”
"My drive is the passion to create something new that has not seen before."
How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs?
“I create jewellery to make people happy, to make their dreams come true. My jewellery can be worn for many years and later by their children. I create jewels that emphasize the sparkle within the wearer and this is what I want them to feel.”
What drives you to continue creating new and exciting pieces?
“My drive is the passion to create something new that has not seen before. I want my jewellery to be worn by many people, in many countries around the world. To know that people from different cultures, religions and surroundings enjoy and appreciate my creations. In my eyes, it erases any differences that people may have.”