Pata Pata Jewelry from Israel custom made nose rings from Israel
In Pie Media Group fashion theatre production.
By Robin Leigh Krafft
It’s an adage that Doron L. Gabay lives by, and it reflects how she has lived her life from a very young age. An international jewelry designer, she specializes in hand-crafted septum rings, nose rings, and nose studs. Doron wears her own work, and in combination with a shock of pink hair and a full-back dragon tattoo, she is a role model for us all in the quest for being yourself without reservation. An artist and a mother, she shared a charming story of her son, at age four, trying to glimpse his own back in the mirror, wondering aloud “when his dragon will show”. If only our true selves would simply emerge from under our skins, we could save ourselves all the time and life lessons that it takes to develop that courage!
For some people, self-expression is more challenging. Being yourself and letting it shine on the outside may have the consequence of being perceived as “strange” … but isn’t it equally unnatural to hide your light? Doron encourages clients not to be shy, to express themselves fully “without concern about what others say or think”; not always an easy task. Sometimes, we wander in all the wrong places before we can find out what’s right.
Starting out in 3D animation and high-tech design, Doron spent much of her early career in virtual worlds. She soon discovered, however, that she missed actual materials and working with her hands, “getting dirty and being one with the art”. Longing for the studio and feeling like “it was too cold, in a way, working on the computer all day”, she attended evening classes and studied many processes and mediums until finally, in the studio of a master goldsmith, she took a sharp turn.
When we do what we love, hours fly by… sketching with both traditional tools and with the metal itself, everything else fades away. “Cut it, bend it, twist it, transform its shape”; her description of the way she works the metal is similar to how we fashion ourselves. The work is fine and demands deep concentration and methodical breathing, and Doron likens it to a meditation. Joy in the process does not suggest that quality is ever sacrificed for creativity: “I handmake my jewelry from nickel-free, sterling silver and solid 14k gold only.” Her deep desire is for her pieces to last, not have the sheen wear off over time… “I want my customers to enjoy them forever!”, she says, and that includes the exposure to salt, sweat, soap, cosmetics, pool chemicals etc. This devotion to quality means that even the most sensitive among us can feel secure wearing her work, and it will never tarnish.
Doron’s commitment to using the highest quality materials is mirrored by the high-powered women that influence her work. “I used to interview strong women: entrepreneurs who go with their true self and go all the way with it.” Her work continues to reflect this inspiration, and she agrees that her quest is as much about female empowerment as it is about self-expression. The septum ring “is tiny but powerful”. It is, after all, right in the middle of your face. Clients continually send her messages about how beautiful it makes them feel when wearing it; the confidence required to adorn yourself in such an ostentatious and yet flirtatious way, goes deep. The connotation is an ancient beauty, a sureness, a power rooted in female culture that is as organic as our born curves.
This sense of community, The Different, The Brave, The Beautiful… is not just felt among wearers of her gorgeous jewelry pieces but stems from the best possible collaborations; “true giving on both sides”. Doron’s focus as a one-woman, indie business is on working positively with others, not competitively. Models, businesses, and creative influences arrive “by chance, but not by chance”, and there seems to be no end to the amazing women who inspire her work and her business.
Located in Israel, she is nestled in the hub of a great design scene, “with many small creatives who sell their art locally and globally”. From the beginning, she aimed internationally with her brand, and many of her customers are abroad. This doesn’t impede her personalized service, however. On her website, www.patapatajewelry.com, Doron offers a unique service that many of her prospective clients utilize. You can ask for specific advice about piercing, septum rings, nose rings, and nose studs, but she has efficiently posted videos according to commonly asked questions, featuring many “how to” lessons. When you buy commercial products, despite how personal this form of jewelry is, the sizing is standard. Her response is: one size does not fit all! These hand-made, wearable art pieces are designed for you, not only in terms of size, but according to taste, (a snug or loose fit, for example). Doron has even had numerous customers who pierced, “just so they could wear my jewelry… this is so big for me!”
For those who are looking for that singular statement, for the image you present to yourself and the world, it may be the courageous act that starts your journey of fearless self-expression. When will your dragon start to show?