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Featured Shop: Petite Mort Shop

Oct 1, 2014

by Julia Berg

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Julia Ye’ela Berg, and I’m the jewelry designer, artist and photographer behind Petite Mort Shop. I’ve lived in Tel-Aviv, Israel for most of my life, but I recently moved to Haifa to find new inspiration.

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I was studying film when my jewelry business began. It was around 2009; my interest in minerals had led me to search for a rough gemstone necklace. I wanted something edgier than traditional jewelry – something that would cradle the gemstone in a soft, flowy way. When the idea for a crocheted chain came to me, I made my first piece and my friends pushed me to create more. It took me a while to fully commit to jewelry design because it was a risk that meant quitting university. It wasn’t easy, and I received criticism for my choices, but it was well worth it. My business has taught me many useful skills, and I feel stronger as an individual.

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I work from my home studio, in a small room full of windows. My studio is surrounded by trees, and one of the windows has a view of run-down city blocks full of historical architecture and colorful laundry fluttering in the wind. I’m inspired by the decaying urban world as much as the natural world: shamanic myths meshed into modern society. The mixture of views – natural and urban – is the basis for my creations. Wilderness and order; regeneration and decay; light and dark. As much as you can never separate happiness from sadness, I’m inclined to incorporate them both into my work.

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I prefer to work with rough gems and rare specimens. Selecting the perfect pieces makes for a long day at the gemstone merchants. When I start creating a new piece, I don’t usually have a set idea of what I want to do; instead, I let the shape, color and theme of the gemstone guide me. My crochet technique allows me to work around uncommon gemstones and bring spontaneous ideas to life. There’s always a flow in the process, and like a painting, some pieces may take a week or month to finish.

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In a world full of seasonal trends and factory-made products, I appreciate long-lasting items and good craftsmanship. That’s part of the sustainable living model that I’d like to live by. I’m very thankful for Etsy – it allows me to stay true to my values and reach out to the global community, no matter where I choose to live. I think this is the model of the future for economy and genuine freedom in commerce. There’s a sense of excitement when I get to ship a necklace to places like Alaska or China – it’s as if I’m traveling the world, spreading good energy through my jewelry. My goals for the future are to evolve as a designer and artist, to live a sustainable life, and to inspire other women for self-empowerment.

Follow Petite Mort Shop on Facebook.

All photographs by Petite Mort Shop.

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