Fabric designer Lea Ben-Arye’s
natural artistic talents are apparent in the fashion pieces she creates. With
no formal fashion design background, Ben-Arye designs, produces, and sells
her one-of-a-kind fashion accessories from her studio
in the artist village of Ein Hod. The timeless fashion pieces — scarves,
jackets, coats, wraps — are created with a screening method that she developed.
First Ben-Arye blocks the
screen with an emulsion. Then she puts pieces of oddly-shaped torn paper
onto the fabric. Although the precut pieces of paper have a random look,
in fact, Ben-Arye carefully selects the composition. The screen is then placed
on top of the fabric to hold the paper in place. Paint is applied. Ben-Arye
then mixes the paints to achieve unusual colors and tones. She adds pigments
and metal dust to achieve a unique look each time. The paints are acryllic-based
and the garments washable.
A native born Israeli, Ben-Arye’s family has lived in the city of
Safed for four generations. Her roots in the art of printmaking go back three
generations, but Ben-Arye prints in a different medium than did her ancestors.
Since her marriage to artist
Dan Ben-Arye, she has lived in Ein Hod. The success of her timeless fashion
accessories has allowed Ben-Arye to realize her dream of making a living from
her art — the dream of all artists. Ten years ago, she opened a boutique
in the village where visitors from all over the come to buy her fashions.
Text and photos by Judith Isaacson.