"Heritage cannot be forecasted. Bench expertise cannot be replaced with machines"
Alexandra's studio is cozy and very efficiently laid out. The first thing you notice, however, is the incredible marquetry inlaid into the wooden desk that commands all attention and fills the space with its presence. It was obviously Alexandra's. I asked if I could put my equipment on this desk, it was that impressive and such a powerful piece of antique furniture. There was also a side table with a beautiful white Buddha statue, and malas laid over the figure, a lovely alter, with everything meticulously placed. The studio felt like a temple and a workspace.
The door opened and in walked a very tall dark haired woman with a stunning presence. She commanded the room in her double breasted long wool coat and patent boots gleaming at her feet. She was very even tempered, calm and spoke with a lovely accent. She told us her family were Holocaust survivors originally from Lodge, Poland, which used to be the textile capital of the world prior to the war. The family moved to France, like many Jews, who were escaping the upcoming war. Her mom was born in France and after the war moved to Israel where Alexandra was born and raised.
Alexandra sat in front of the backdrop and we started to speak as friends and not necessarily in an interview style. In my interviews I try and make sure the artist leads the way. In this case I was here to listen, to her travels, her love of the bench, and her family, and then to review all the work that was laid out for me to touch and see.
The gemstones she uses are rare and unusual. What I loved about her designs is how courageous they were, bold, strong and personal. The quality is impeccable. To wear a piece of Alexandra Mor's jewelry is to be adorned with the finest materials in the world, and you can wear them in good conscience as her designs are primarily ethically sourced materials. Her commitment to ethical sourcing is a major philosophical component of her work. It is not a surprise that Alexandra discovered the tagua seed on her journey to Bali and decided to use it as part of the new materials she explored. Tagua Seed, the botanical alternative to elephant ivory, is a perfect carving material for the complex and intricate beads incorporated into Alexandra's jewelry designs. Her work with the tagua nut as a replacement ivory material is her contribution to the jewelry industry which provides a non endangered species alternative and supports the forests and the people living in it.
Alexandra is very eloquent and a very powerful connector to many pieces in the jewelry industry puzzle. She is also very generous, and then she brought out red string prayer bracelets that were blessed by the Dalai Lama, and carefully wrapped one onto my wrist. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness and kindness, her deliberate mannerisms, and her elegant manners. I was completely enchanted by her presence.
I still wear my precious prayer bracelet, and will never take it off. It will forever remind me of this very special day.