Sculptor turned jewelry designer inspired by Egypcian and Greek mythological stories and characters. Zohar’s entire design philosophy and branding is based on her fascination with Egyptian culture and history. Zohar herself is quite a character herself, fascinating, mysterious, loves living life to the fullest, a kind of “Modern day Cleopatra”.
All of Zohar’s work is hand made, she’s using raw 14K & 18K gold and combining precious stones. The use of the Vermeil technique is a way that simulates an ancient technique so that the final result looks like an archeological item with touches of deliberate imperfection and uniqueness to each item. inspired by aphrodisiac signs of the Egyptian mythology she creates one of a kind high end jewelry with a modern twist.
Tell us the story behind Gil Zohar, the woman and the brand.
I always felt a longing for Ancient Egypt. I have a full library of books on the subject, I watched all the films, and flew around the world looking for exhibitions to quench my thirst. When I completed my Master’s Degree, I started an exciting ‘affair’ with my second love, fashion. Working with leading fashion magazines and TV shows, I became an expert in the Field.
My Egyptian obsession laid in the dark, waiting for me to return. In my search for meaning and connection, In 2016, I finally started creating jewelry. I found myself designing ancient artifacts. Remnants from a world long forgotten. Every ring conveyed a secret power; each bracelet carried secrets of old cultures. People around me were fascinated by these creations, and stories of Ancient Egypt came back to haunt me.
At some point, it felt like I was reassembling a treasure. One that was scattered and lost many moons ago. At this point I began with sculptures and statues, and Ancient Egypt regained full possession over me. I left my work as a stylist and Fashion Journalist and devoted my all to the art.
My brand conveys the mystery from a past world. A world of mystical gods, ancient magic, mythology and hidden treasures. As opposed to the ephemeral fast paced world where we are surrounded daily by continuous instant trending in fashion, lifestyle and daily living.I feel that my work is also revisits the feminism that was customary in Ancient Egypt.
We talk about women empowerment and #metoo, but the queens of Egypt were first to hone their powers and gain the respect of millions.Women in ancient Egypt had more rights than in any other ancient culture and were valued with greater respect. This is evident not only in the physical evidence and inscriptions but in their religion.
Some of the most powerful and important deities in the Egyptian pantheon are female and some versions of the creation myth itself present the goddess Neith not the god Atum, as the creator .In addition the most popular and influential religious tale in Egypt was the story of Osiris and how he was brought back to life by his sister-wife Isis.
It is hardly surprising, therefore, that there were a number of important female rulers throughout the history of Egypt. The best known of these, of course, is Cleopatra vii (c. 69- 30 BCE), who was not actually Egyptian but Greek. Long before she came to the throne, however, other Egyptian women had already held the positions of regent and even reigning monarch a number of times.
What makes your creations unique in your opinion?
My jewelry tells the story of a crumbling empire. Every detail in them has a deep meaning and power. They are far beyond aesthetics or a passing trend. This is what makes them eternal and ageless.
What started your fascination with Ancient Egyptian culture? Have you been there? If so, how was that experience for you?
My first memory is from the age of 4. My mother, p.h.d in Art History, was invited to lecture at the British Museum. I accompany her there, and we came across an Egyptian Art exhibition. To this day, my heart beats faster when I recall that significant moment, standing as if transfixed, gazing at a gargantuan mummy. I felt I was in the presence of something so familiar. In a way, it felt like being home.. And I was magnetized with no ability to move. My journey started there. But actually, from security reasons, I have not been to Egypt yet, but this is the first thing that I am going to do after the Covid is finished!!!
Every jewel you make is a piece of art, tell us the process behind designing and creating these incredible handmade jewelry.
Each piece of jewelry starts from a scribble that becomes an accurate drawing. I upload the drawing to a computer and divide it into parts. Like a jigsaw puzzle. Some of the puzzle I print on a 3d printer and some I sculpt with wax by hand. After they are ready, I pour it, engrave on it and set the chosen stones. Some of the jewelry are influenced by archeological items found in Egypt and some are my interpretation of the period.
How do you combine family life and being an artist and a business woman?
I have two kids, ages 10 and 7 and I feel lucky because both of them are really in love with the gods of ancient Egypt and know by heart their names. They compare them to Marvel’s superheroes.. so they don’t disturb me when i’m working from home.. Although now in the Covid, when the schools are closed, there are really challenging days with my next generation and there are many days that I cant work at all.
Who would you like to see wearing your creations?
Tell us about your personal style, how do you define it? Where do you love shopping? Who are your favorite designers?
I like to mix high end brands with street brands, to mix different styles and create a new eclectic one. For example, Dior black dress with denim jacket from Zara and Gucci boots and a vintage small bag that used to be my husband’s. 🙂 I adore the designs of Dries Van Noten, Gucci, Rick Owens and Galiano.
How did you adjust to the pandemic as a brand? The fashion world has changed this year, did you notice the change and what steps did you take to keep the creation going?
I put more emphasis on advertising and marketing on social media. People wants to shop to compensate themselves on this crazy and challenging period. I think that the fashion world is going in the direction of reduction and precision. People buy fewer items but quality items that will accompany them to the future. I think we will see less and less fashion trends but more classics items and designs
What other things inspire to create?
An emotional movie on Netflix, Taschen book, conversation with my friends, trip on the beach, a woman on the street, quality exhibition.