Peace may have eluded the Middle East (and other parts) for what seems like eons, but that hasn’t stopped people around the world from praying and hoping for it, or working to achieve it. It also hasn’t stopped artists and designers from incorporating symbols for peace into everything from posters and graffiti to T-shirts and jewelry. Several designers working in Israel have put their unique spin on the latter category, creating pendants that represent peace – literally or figuratively.
One of those is Keren Peled, an artist working in Haifa whose brand is called KelkaJewelry (taken from a nickname her brother gave her as a toddler). Peled studied metalworking in San Francisco but returned to Israel in 2010, when she says her creations grew increasingly inspired by Judaica and kabbala.
One of her collections, “Keren Or” (Hebrew for “Ray of Light”), was influenced, Peled says, by “a feeling of getting closer to my roots and wanting to include the letters and the words of Jewish wisdom in it.” Her take on the peace pendant features the Hebrew word for peace, shalom, inscribed at the center of a half-inch circle that comes in three options: silver-plated brass, gold-plated brass or rose gold-plated brass; a slightly different version of the pendant is adorned with a shimmering pearl or garnet that dangles underneath it. If you really want to express your feelings about peace, Peled has also designed earrings to match.
$45, available at KelkaJewelry
Netanya-based designer Meytal Bar-Noy studied social work, but after completing her degree decided to “do good for others from a different place,” as she puts it. She launched her jewelry line, Jools, which she describes as feminine, urban and fun – and which includes her distinctive take on the peace pendant. Rather than stick to her mother tongue, though, Bar-Noy took a different tack and chose instead to feature the Arabic word for peace, salaam.
“I designed this necklace as a result of our political and diplomatic situation and the desire of all of the sides for peace and tranquility,” she writes on her Etsy page, adding that this pendant makes a strong statement regardless of who wears it. The salaam pendant is made of 24k-gold-plated brass and, coincidentally, the design includes what resembles a wishbone – in case the wearer wants to make an extra push for peace.
$50, available at Jools
Joelle Medina Eckstein, a Jerusalem-based goldsmith, artist and craftsman, made her way to Israel in 1991 from Spain, where she was born and raised. Much of her work draws inspiration from a melting pot of cultures – Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia, visits to Andalusia, where she was introduced to gypsy culture, and her family’s roots in both North Africa and North America. Much of her jewelry incorporates knitting and embroidery (as well as pearls or semi-precious stones), resulting in handmade pieces that appear simultaneously delicate and sturdy.
Some of Eckstein’s works, however, have a more solid finish – including her dove pendant, a one-of-a-kind piece made of hand-sawed brass that is polished and plated in 18k gold. When worn, the avian symbol for peace looks as though it’s airborne, flapping its wings – perhaps en route to picking up an olive branch.
$60, available at ChezJoelle
All three pendants come with chains.