Nitsa Rona’s jewellery is inspired by her observations. Whether it’s the sensuous curves of a women’s body, a drop of water on a leaf or the rhythm of a dance, her one-of-a-kind designs are always artistic yet wearable.
Based in Israel, Nitsa started her career working as a designer for a big jewellery factory, before taking everything she had learned and setting up her own studio. We chat to Nitsa Rona about her 25-year journey as a jewellery designer.
Do you remember when you first fell in love with designing jewellery?
“In 1983, I went abroad for the first time to London. As I was wandering the Portobello and Bermondsey flea markets, I saw the most beautiful Art Nouveau and Art Deco pieces. That’s when my passion to design in metal and my desire to master the craft and its traditions was ignited.”
How did Nitsa Rona begin?
“In 1987, during a family visit in Paris, I discovered Japanese designers who were at their peak in Paris then. I was completely mesmerised by their creations. The designs of Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Tokio Kumagai and Yoneda Kasuko opened up a world I did not know before, and touched the depths of my imagination. Their minimalistic and monochromatic clothing stimulated me to design jewellery to match them.”
"Even when designing an artistic jewel, my customer's needs are always my top priority."
What are your core brand values at Nitsa Rona?
“Simplicity, modesty and integrity, as well as consideration of others. My jewellery is designed for people to wear and therefore my initial sources of inspiration are always the figure, the curves and the movement. Even when designing an artistic jewel, my customer's needs are always my top priority. I also ensure that the back of my jewellery is always finished just as the front is, as it’s the part of the jewel that touches the body.”
Where do you create your best work?
“Located at the roof of my own home, my studio is spacious and bright, and surrounded by wide windows. Absolutely dreamy! All my jewels are created in my workshop, including those that are carved in wood. Diamond inlay is an exception, as it is done by a professional.”
"My sketchbook is always open on my desk, as well as a notebook to write passing thoughts."
Where do you source inspiration for your designs?
“Throughout my 25 years as a jewellery designer, I’ve collected some unique tools and materials, and now they’re all conveniently accessible to me. My sketchbook is always open on my desk, as well as a notebook to write passing thoughts. Every morning I select the daily playlist to accompany me for the rest of the day. The jewellery making process has its repetitive parts, and often it’s during those parts of the day that some of my best ideas arise. The dialogue I conduct with materials and shapes constantly leads me to new experiments. Yoga and dance classes are another source of inspiration for me - observing the body movement, feeling my body lighten up and connecting to myself fills me up with energy, creativity and new ideas.”
Where do you source your materials?
“My first source of ebony wood was my father's old wooden spoons, which he brought from Africa. Whenever one broke he would give it to me. Today, I buy a block once every few years and use it until no piece of wood is left uncarved.”
Where did you grow up?
“I grew up in a typical Jewish North African home where life gathered at its heart, around the family table. I was surrounded by North African aesthetics that were rich in colours and textures. Everyone would try and make the people around them happy and life's soundtrack had an oriental sound. In the summers, my father's cousin, an architect from Paris, would come to visit for the summer and bring a magical atmosphere of the big world with him. His stories ignited my imagination and evoked dreams of my future.”
How did you get into the jewellery industry?
“After I finished my studies at the Bezalel academy, I was lucky enough to be offered a head designer position at a big jewellery factory. Working there at the beginning of my professional career exposed me to the discipline of jewellery production in industrial volumes, and I learned the industrial tools and techniques that serve me well to this day at my own studio. The high standards that I set up for myself back then still guide me, as well as my imagination and my desire to fully express myself.”
"Throughout the years, I’ve gained several dozens of regular customers who have made me their family's jewellery designer."
Are there any customers you feel particularly proud of?
“Every customer who returns for a second order and allows me to create a tailored piece of jewellery for them once again is a great source of pride for me. Throughout the years, I’ve gained several dozens of regular customers who have made me their family's jewellery designer. I get to be there and share their important days and significant events, and I feel as though my jewels are a timeless declaration of love.”
How do you want someone to feel when wearing a piece of Nitsa Rona jewellery?
“All my jewels have their own purpose. Jewels from my Curves collection add sensuality to the body. The Balance series is designed to remind the wearer of the eternal search for balance and create a point of balance in all components of our physical appearance. My Foliage series reminds us of the beauty of nature when we stop to observe and seize the moment. I wish that whoever wears my jewellery feels that they are wearing an artistic statement, which reflects their unique taste, their courage and the desire for the best.”
What’s been the highest point of your career so far?
“Without a doubt, the highest point of my career was my solo exhibition, 'Till My Mind is at Ease', at Periscope gallery in Tel Aviv, in July 2015. I went back to being an artist looking for answers to questions concerning form and substance, questions concerning the essence of jewellery and questions about myself. For one whole month, I gave people a glimpse of my creative process, my areas of interest and my sources of inspiration.”