Yair Emanuel

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Yair Emanuel
Yair Emanuel
Kibbutz Shaalvim
Jewish Artist:
Commercial Judaica Designer
Produces popular contemporary Judaica working in decorated wood and textiles, especially painted silk.

Yair Emanuel is a contemporary Judaica artist designer who studied at Bezelel Art Academy and now works from his studio workshop in Jerusalem. His work is so popular all over the world that it has even been faked.


[edit] Background

Yair Emanuel was born on Kibbutz Shaalvim, a religious kibbutz in central Israel. His orthodox family later moved to Jerusalem where he grew up. Even though he now has a more liberal perspective on Judaism, Yair’s religious upbringing still influences his art and design.

[edit] Themes

Yair Emanuel went to the prestigious Bezelel Academy of Art and Design to study art. Since leaving art school he has developed his own style, working mostly in wood and textiles, especially silk. He also paints on raw silk, using appliqué and embroidery to produce the effects he wants. He uses Jewish themes such as the biblical seven species:- wheat, barley, grapes, olives, figs, pomegranates and dates as inspiration for his designs. Yair Emanuel's designs are also influenced by his location - Jerusalem, the city of gold, the holy city.

[edit] Wood and Textiles

Yair designs both ritual religious objects in decorated painted wood such as Chanukah menorahs, Havdalah sets, Challah boards and Kiddush cups, in addition to regular tableware like bowls and napkin rings. His textiles, like his silk tallits, kippot in a variety of fabrics, and decorative tapestry wall hangings, have made him extremely popular. Yair Emanuel is now considered one of the foremost contemporary Judaic designers.

[edit] Tallit and Tefillin Bags

Yair Emanuel also offers a wide choice of tefilin and tallit bags that complement or match his tallits. Yair offers everything from his signature pomegranate designs in raw silk to traditional velvet pouch sets. These distinctive bag sets are available in machine or hand embroidery, appliquéd, and even quilted tallit and tefilin pouch sets in a range of materials, colors and choice of designs.

[edit] Illegal Copies

Yair Emanuel's work is so popular that it has been forged. In 2006 the Jerusalem High Court awarded Emanuel a substantial award, 140,000 shekels (approx $35,000) against a company that copied 27 of his Judaica items, thereby stealing his intellectual property rights.

[edit] Studio Workshop

Yair Emanuel is a designer and creative artist producing excellent modern usable Judaica from his studio workshop in Jerusalem. According to tradition, a Jew is supposed to donate money to charity (tzedakah) and contribute to society. One of the ways Emanuel does this is by employing a variety of people in his workshop, manufacturing his unique Judaic designs, who might otherwise find it difficult to locate suitable employment. Many workers in his studio have mental disabilities or are new immigrants to Israel. Yair also gives a percentage of his profits to charity (tzedakah).

Aside from running his successful commercial business from his Jerusalem studio, Emanuel also has an online presence so that people world wide can see and buy his popular designs, knowing they are getting the real thing.

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