Meet the Artist: Micol Bayer of Micol Designs

Photo: Courtesy of Micol Design

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. 

I am originally from Seattle, WA and still a Northwest girl at heart. I moved to Israel with my family in 2014, and am continually inspired by the beauty of the land.  I have always loved art but never thought it would become my life’s work. While working as a teacher for many years, I slowly grew my artwork from a hobby into a full-time business. I feel very blessed to do what I love every day.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I have always loved to draw and play with lettering.  From a young age, I was constantly changing my handwriting and developing my own fonts. I later learned calligraphy and studied scribal arts with a Sofer (Hebrew Scribe) in Jerusalem.  

What is your specialty? 

Papercuts and Ketubot. I discovered papercutting about 20 years ago and I immediately fell in love with the artform. The precision of the medium suits my perfectionist tendencies so well!

How and where do you work? 

I work from my home studio in Efrat. The part of being self-employed that I love the most is the flexibility to work hours that fit with my life as a mom. 

What is the most indispensable item in your studio? 

Definitely my lightbox! I learned this technique from my papercutting mentor Dena Weiss-Levie that has changed the way I work. I also love my custom-made standing desk that doubles as flat files to hold all my papers.

Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?

I draw inspiration from the beauty of nature and the Land of Israel. I love geometrical themes and the interplay of positive and negative space that makes papercutting so interesting.

Do you do bespoke work?

Yes! Most of my business is custom design. I work closely with each client to bring their vision of life and create a piece of art that is both beautiful and imbued with personal meaning.

What projects are you currently working on?

A few years ago, I designed my first metalcut mechitza for a shul.  I am working on designing custom mechitzas and other functional artwork that translate my designs into other media.

What is your favourite item in your current collection?

It’s so hard to choose a favorite! I recently made a mapcut as a gift and I loved it so much that I am planning to make one for myself since I don’t have much of my own art in my home. You know the old saying about the shoemaker…

How do you know when a piece is finished? 

Excellent question. I always look to achieve a sense of balance. I tape my drawing to the wall, take a few steps back, and make sure that I love the way it looks and feels before I begin to cut.

What was the first artwork you ever sold?

When I was in college, my cousins asked me to make their Ketubah. It was a great experience and started my journey into Ketubah design.

Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?

I created a series of Alphabet papercuts for the pre-school that I attended and my children attended. The pre-school is housed in the basement of the school and the administration wanted to liven up the dark hallway.  I created the letters A, B, C for that project, but I have been working on developing the rest of the alphabet since then. I can’t wait to complete the whole series!

What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?

I want to create artwork that is meaningful to people and makes an impact in their lives.  I hope to continue to learn and grow as an artist as I develop my craft in the future. I want to teach young kids to say “I want to be an artist when I grow up” and mean it!

Where can we find your work?

Website: www.micoldesigns.com

Instagram: @micol.designs

Facebook: Micol Designs

Pintrest: Micol Designs Papercut + Ketubah Art

Photos: Courtesy of Micol Design

Rakuten Kobo UK

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