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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Featured artist Shahar from Gazur

This Sunday I bring to you Shahar from Gazur.   She has this wonderful shop full of leather goodies.  Keep reading It's amazing how she started creating her upcycled leather items from scraps and leftovers.  Don't forget to visit her shop too.  Happy Sunday!

1. Tell us as little or as much as you would like about yourself.
We are Shahar and Noam, a couple from Israel, we live and work together on our creations. 
Shahar: two years ago, as I was working as a furniture designer, I came across a lot of wasted materials, by-products of the furniture workshops. As I always wanted to create my own product I started to collect the materials and sewing items for me, then came the idea to make the first collection.

We realize we will need much more materials then I managed to collect, so we approached one of the biggest and successful furniture manufacture in Tel Aviv and asked him to get the "waste" - what we call cut-offs.

Our first step was to move to Berlin. We choose Berlin as our destination since we love the spirit of creation and it was a good base for us to get to the rest of Europe. In Israel there is not so much awareness to recycling and here in Berlin we found a warm home (well at least mentally :).  

Light Brown and Chocolate Brown Leather Waallet
2. What do you sell?
Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new products.  This way you create products of higher environmental value.

We create one-off pieces - tote bags, wallets, clutches and accessories from upcycled leather. Every item is unique as I don’t manufacture in mass production. I try to give each item its personal mark. Sometimes I find pieces of leather that are consider damaged (color changes, little scratch ) – I see the beauty in this imperfection, and I know it will find its way to the person that will see it too.
Our collection is very free. At the beginning we didn't try to build a comprehensive collection but it was based on item Shahar, as a fashion consumer, always failed to find.
We also try taking usual items and give them our own interpretation.  In the last collection we took a turn and started using also fabric.  We found a roll of army uniform fabric at the flea market. And created a line of bags that was made of this fabric in combination with lining made of men blouses we collected from second hand shops.   It was very successful.

In general, we try to price our products in a way we can live from selling but also keep it affordable. I would like to think that our clients are like us - they have good taste but are not supper rich. They will go not for big labels but for unique items.

Yellow Leather bag organizer
 3. Why handmade?
We love to create, we love to see what comes under our hands, and we believe that creation leads to creation - in all means.

4. Where does your inspiration to create come from and/or your inspiration in life?
Shahar: I love the flea markets, when i wonder around and look at the loads of different items I always have ideas. I like to look at old items and see how it was kept all this years. People used to make items that will hold for years.  We both love the city and look at people at the streets all the time, checking what they wear, watch how they wear it and what can be added.
Architecture is another thing we both appreciate. We believe in function and comfortable, that is why Germany's Bauhaus is one of our great inspirations (you might know that in Tel Aviv is a world heritage for Bauhaus buildings.)

5. Besides creating what else do you do? Do you have a full time job?
Shahar: As I said, when I started I was working as a furniture designer. When we came to Berlin I worked at a Jewish kindergarten, teaching Hebrew.
Now we are focusing on creation, it is not possible to create unless you are totally in it…

6. When did you start thinking you were an artist?
Shahar: I guess all my life. I was always drawing, painting, sewing.
At the beginning I wanted to be an architect, but eventually I studied interior design when I understood that what interest me more is the final appearance and liked  furniture.

Green leather clutch
7. Who has been most influential in your craft work?
At the beginning we knew almost nothing about creating leather bags. All I knew came from the furniture world. As I started to sew it my self and asking around I got more and more information. Then I came across this old guy, that has been making leather bags and belts for many years. He had explain me a lot and let me work in his workshop. This year I hope to continue work with him and learn more.

8. Where would you like to be in five years?
Our greatest wish is to work half a year in markets and festivals and be free to create the other half.  And the best will be if we could in this half live somewhere like India. We would like to be able to live from our creations.

leather handbag
 9. Is there anything you'd like to try doing that you haven't done? crafts, sports, life in general?
Shahar: I would love to do fashion. We do once in a while some clothing but I would love to do it more professionally.
Shahar: I practice Yoga regularly, it my time of the day NOT to think, but it brings me inspiration and peace.
We both love to walk and ride our bikes. We believe bicycle is the best way to move around – healthy, easy and cheap.
Travel  is our greatest love!  If we could choose one thing to keep doing all our life -it would be seeing new places (and coming back to places we loved)
We are both romantic, the first thing we did, 2 weeks after we met, was to take a bus to Cairo. We separately always dreamed about it.

10. Besides online where else do you sell?
we started and keep selling at the outside markets of Berlin. we have two regular markets – "Winterfeld platz" on Saturdays and "Mauer park" on Sundays.
But our main markets are designer/handmade markets we participate around Berlin and Germany. Hopefully next year we will find some also in other countries around Europe.
You can find our creations in a lovely designer shop in Kreuzberg Berlin - A-loja , and in Versailles France in at a store called Oz

Ways to contact you:

10997 Berlin

Boutique Oz –
29 rue du vieux Versailles –
78000 Versailles


  1. what a great interview! off to their shop, their bags sound amazing!

  2. Another great interview! Accessories are the perfect reuse for those leftover leather scrap! It must be so fun to collaborate with a spouse.


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