Bruchim HaBaim – Welcome
Yossi Sagi invites you to share in his world of architecture and nature, of old and new, of east and west, of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Born and educated in Jerusalem, Yossi Sagi graduated from Israel's prestigious Bezalel Academy cources of Art and Design in 1981. Always eager to learn more, he then worked for twelve years for Dudik (David) Swed. In Swed's workshop Sagi continued to develop his craft before opening his own studio at 25 Hutzot HaYotzer in 1995. A firm grounding in the techniques of his trade enabled Sagi to develop his own unique approach to both design and method.
Shiluv – Joining, Combining, Connecting
Living and working in Jerusalem has infused Yossi Sagi's Jewish ceremonial art and jewelry with the timeless atmosphere of the city itself. Incorporating elements of both architectural and natural forms, these functional art pieces combine the traditional with the modern in a way that enhances both. Designs that are classical in sensibility yet contemporary in outlook are Sagi's specialty.
This joining of the established with the advanced is also evident in the choice of materials used. Gold, silver, and gemstones are often combined with non-traditional materials. The steel springs and Ecolon (a plastic resin) that are used in mechanical devices give life and movement to some of the more complicated pieces. A number of Sagi's ritual items come apart and can be recombined or rearranged, thereby allowing the client to participate in the design process. The Torch Havdallah Set and the Dreidel Hanukka Menorah both illustrate this concept. Yet, even with so much emphasis on design, the practical, functional side of using the objects is never forgotten. Most silver parts are plated with rhodium for easy cleaning and all items fullfill the necessary Halachic requirements.
Hashra'ah – Inspiration
The process of design is complicated and difficult to pin down - it is different for every artist. Natural and man-made surroundings, the culture and history of the Jewish people, the work of other artists both past and present - all come into play during the initial phase of the design process. Inspiration and stimuli are found everywhere. From the patience and perseverance he developed while attaining a black belt in karate, to the playful ornamentation and acceptance of serendipitous occurances he learned while playing jazz and blues on the guitar, Yossi Sagi welcomes an all-encompassing approach to design. As Sagi says, "All things lead to this work."
Effort is also made to involve as many of the senses as possible. While sight and touch are obviously involved in the use of any functional object, Sagi playfully includes sound in his Raindrops Netilat Yada'im Vessel. Recently, the jewel-like, eye-catching colors of enamels have begun to take their place among the other colors and textures that comprise Sagi's visual language.
The combining and distillation of all these ideas and influences takes time. It is not unusual for the whole process - from inspiration to final implimentation - to take from one to two years. It is this total dedication to both process and product that allows Sagi to reach his goal of being absolutely original.
Biyad HaTzoref – In the Hand of the Silversmith
This phrase, which is included in Yossi Sagi's logo, comes from the Yom Kippur service. It refers to the process of forming silver. The raw material can be shaped in one way or another at the will of the craftsman. The responsibility for the direction taken lies in the hands of the silver smith. For Sagi, craftsmanship is every bit as important as design. All items are produced in limited editions and are numbered and signed by the artist. In addition, Sagi has worked to produce one-of-a-kind designs that reflect the ideas and sensibilities of individual clients. No effort is spared to bring each piece to the highest quality finish. These objects, while functional, can also stand alone as beautiful adornments for any home. Future generations will love them for their connection with tradition and appreciate them for their timeless beauty. The careful hand of the silversmith is evident in each and every one.
Yossi Sagi is included in the book Art in Israel-Personal Touch, by Bella Zaichik-Shomer, 2010. He has been written about “Jerusalem Post” and shown on Israeli TV and Ynet internet News as well.