LEA BEN-ARYE
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Issue #39 August 2003

Fabric Artist Lea Ben-Arye

Fabric designer Lea Ben-Arye's natural artistic talents are apparent in the fashion pieces she creates. With no formal fashion design background, Ben-Arye designs, produces, and sells her one-of-a-kind fashion accessories from her studio
in the artist village of Ein Hod. The timeless fashion pieces -- scarves, jackets, coats, wraps -- are created with a screening method that she developed.

First Ben-Arye blocks the screen with an emulsion. Then she puts pieces of oddly-shaped torn paper onto the fabric. Although the precut pieces of paper have a random look, in fact, Ben-Arye carefully selects the composition. The screen is then placed on top of the fabric to hold the paper in place. Paint is applied. Ben-Arye then mixes the paints to achieve unusual colors and tones. She adds pigments and metal dust to achieve a unique look each time. The paints are acryllic-based and the garments washable.

A native born Israeli, Ben-Arye's family has lived in the city of Safed for four generations. Her roots in the art of printmaking go back three generations, but Ben-Arye prints in a different medium than did her ancestors.

Since her marriage to artist Dan Ben-Arye, she has lived in Ein Hod. The success of her timeless fashion accessories has allowed Ben-Arye to realize her dream of making a living from her art -- the dream of all artists. Ten years ago, she opened a boutique in the village where visitors from all over the come to buy her fashions.

Text and photos by Judith Isaacson.

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