Coconut shells make attractive jewelry too

Fashion news

Jewelry designer Ayala Naphtali joined Gallery La La’s community of creators in September 2020. What we immediately loved about her designs was how her inimitable designs combines coconut shells, an easily obtainable and very sustainable material, with sterling silver. 

Ayala is a metalsmith/jewelry maker. She began making jewelry in her early teens with a studio based in East Williamsburg, New York City. She studied Gold and Silversmithing at FIT (NY/USA) and SUNY New Paltz (NY/USA) where she received her BFA in 1985. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in galleries, museums shops and design stores. Her work has been collected privately and is in the permanent collections of Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (NY/USA), Nordenfjeldske Kunstindustrimuseum (Trondheim/Norway), and The White House Ornament Collection (Washington, DC/USA). She has exhibited in many major national juried art shows including American Craft Exposition, SOFA and Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Her work has been featured in publications including American Craft Magazine, ELLE, The Fashions of The Times, The New York Times, Mademoiselle, Women's Wear Daily, Glamour, New Women Magazine, and New York Post. Ayala Naphtali has also been a juror for The American Craft Council Craft Shows. 

Artist Statement

My path as a metalsmith and jewelry designer has been a lifelong pursuit. Starting in my early teens I became captivated by both historical and contemporary works in metal. The detail, precision and focus are both challenging and rewarding. In my work I draw inspiration from ancient alphanumeric systems, contemporary architecture, and my own personal cultural history. I am intrigued with balance and proportion, and feel as if each piece must find 

its axis on the wearer. The work is designed to be elegant, with minimal and bold forms. 

My work is an exploration of form and materials, each equally important. I feel firmly rooted in the historical tradition of my craft. 

I am committed to the use of materials for their color texture and versatility. Often the material is the inspiration for the piece of jewelry being designed. Coconut shell, dyed and carved, is used to achieve rich color and texture. Forging, fabricating and casting are used to create pieces with dimension and volume.

- Ayala Naphtali