Spotlight on the Artist – Michal Golan
Michal Golan is an Israeli born painter, printer and jewelry designer based in the New York City, where she’s been since the 1970s. Her Distinguished Children’s Books illustrations have also won her an award with the Israel Museum Ben-Yitzhak Awards for illustrations. A Masters Degree holder in studio art, Michal resides in NYC with her husband and three children. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic art from the University of Maryland.
In her New York studio, Michal creates her handcrafted jewelry with a meticulous attention to detail. The ornately jeweled designs make her pieces immediately recognizable. The Michal Golan Jewelry collection is made from an array of richly hued semi-precious stones, Swarovski crystals, and freshwater pearls. The result combines classic, timeless style, with a fresh, contemporary look.
Michal Golan’s jewelry collection is inspired by jewelry designs from the Victorian era and Byzantine art known for their generous use of gemstones and pearls, as well as Middle Eastern art popular for its mosaic styles, lavish decorations and use of brilliant colors. She loves color, an attribute portrayed throughout her multi bright collections.
Michal Golan was born in Haifa, Israel, where she lived with her parents until she finished high school. Although her parents were scientists, Michal had a passion for art throughout her childhood. Consequently, she joined her father in America after high school to study an undergraduate degree in graphic art at the University of Maryland in the year 1973.
After graduation, she went back to Israel but only for a few years since she wanted to further her education in studio art. During this time, there were no colleges in Israel offering programs in her area of interest. For this reason, she had to go back to New York to pursue a Masters degree in studio art. Her focus was on abstract paintings and printmaking.
It is during her time in graduate school that she began her jewelry design career. Her childhood love for art would come in handy when she needed a means to support herself financially in graduate school. She sold her maiden jewelry designs in craft fairs. By 1985, demand for her jewelry was full-blown and she decided to venture into jewelry making full-time after her graduation. During this time, she met her future spouse who would then become her business partner.
Though her company has expanded over the years, the primary premise of her work has remained. Today, Michal’s fashionable modern jewelry is handmade in her NYC studio, where she works with several dedicated artisans to realize her brilliant jewelry pieces. The office sits in the same premise, where processing of orders, strategizing, customer service, and everything else to do with running the business takes place.
It’s true that most of her work is inspired by Byzantine, Victorian Era and Middle Eastern art. However, Michal says that everyday things like NYC’s museums, the city’s outstanding street style or her travels influence her creations. Whenever an idea crosses her mind, she puts it down in a sketchbook. Then, once she’s in the office, she plays with different materials and colors in an effort to bring her pieces into life. Her focus is to create unique, trendy piece that matches her style. Once she has a satisfactory prototype, she passes it on to her artisans who recreate each item by hand.
In the past few years, Michal has given some of her time to ceramic mosaic work. She draws her inspiration for mosaic art from her longstanding interest in how independent objects join to form single, consistent scenes or bodies. She attributes her success to the love she has for her work – creating artworks, and hopes you’ll find same joy when wearing some of her creations.
When she is not designing, Michal enjoys spending time with her family, friends or walking her dog. Michal also loves to travel and her frequent destinations are her birthplace, Israel, and Europe, where she also draws inspiration for some of her artwork.