Yemenite Silver Threads

Silver Threads

generation Yemenite silversmith, Ben-Zion David, is a first generation
Israeli who combines the art learned from his father with his own original
designs. Ben-Zion was taught to prepare the silver threads in his father’s
workshop when he was still a boy. “In Yemen, a person who wanted a piece
of jewelry would give five silver coins to the silversmith. Three coins
were melted for the jewelry itself and the other two coins would be the
jeweler’s fee. It took two days to prepare the silver into threads and
small silver domes. On the third day, the jewelry would be crafted. My
father still uses outdated methods to make his jewelry, maybe more advanced
than my grandfather’s, but not very modern. Till this day, all the tools
I work with have Yemenite names. Each small jewelry piece, each individual
thread, has a unique Yemenite name,” relates Ben-Zion.

through the desert by nomadic traders in the early 1950s, Ben-Zion’s parents
walked for two years from their village in northern Yemen to Sana, the capital
city, carrying their jewelry tools with them. Although believing that the
airplane that brought them to Israel was the work of demons, Operation Magic
Carpet, as the Jewish Agency termed the large aliyah from Yemen in the 1950s,
was a success.

Today Ben-Zion combines modern fashion
trends with traditional Yemenite craftsmanship. He designs all the pieces
that are crafted in his studio. Of the six people who work with him in his
gallery in Old Jaffa, two are relatives and the others are close friends.

Ben-Zion’s designs are inspired by
the traditional Yemenite design of heavy bridal jewelry. Pieces which he
creates for collectors of Judaica are completely hand-made. For such pieces
he prepares the threads, interweaving them, some to the left, and others
to the right, to achieve a special braided effect. “This way I get the
feeling of the thread and I decide its density,” explains Ben-Zion.

Works by Ben-Zion David are on display
at the Ha’Aretz Museum in Tel Aviv and at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. He
is the recipient of the Accent Magazine design award for two consecutive


welcomes visitors to his studio in Old Jaffa.


David Yemenite Art Ltd.

3 Mazal Dagim St.

Old Jaffa

Tel: +972-3-681-2503

Fax: +972-3-682-7905

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