Oroko ring by Noam Bar Yochai Oroko ring by Noam Bar Yochai Noam Bar Yochai's Oroko ring fades with time to reveal gold flakes beneath the surface. (Photo: Noam Bar Yochai)

Jewelry made to fade

Noam Bar Yochai's designs are more than beautiful — they each tell a story.

One London-based artist's innovative approach to jewelry may have us rethinking the role of decorative objects in our lives.

"The idea of making new things from existing materials always looks a bit like magic," Israeli designer Noam Bar Yochai told From the Grapevine. Each of his designs carry a bit of that magic with them, but one stands out above them all: the Oroko ring. 

Oroko ring by Noam Bar YochaiThe Oroko ring starts out with just a smudge of gold flakes. (Photo: Noam Bar Yochai)

At first glance, the ring appears delicate as an eggshell, a sliver of gold peeking through. But a closer look (and a lapse in time) reveals that the rings are created out of a special millefeuille polymer, wearing over the days, months and years to reveal more gold beneath. 

Oroko ring by Noam Bar YochaiThe progression of the Oroko ring, as worn over time. (Photo: Noam Bar Yochai)

The design is fascinating, and the concept behind it even more so. 

"The idea for the Oroko rings came while looking at existing pieces of jewelry that were passed on through generations," Yochai explained. "In many cases, a piece of jewelry that was given to us has a long history and a story to tell, but the very thing that makes it precious – its materials – are chosen for their durability and often don't reveal the long path it has [taken]." 

So Yochai decided to flip this idea on its head, creating a ring that shows the passage of time effectively and beautifully, celebrating what it means to hand down an item.

"The Oroko rings age and, with time, expose their hidden treasure," Yochai said. "It will age and wear like its bearer, revealing something of its owner's life and habits."

It's a delicate item, more so than Yochai's other designs, which focus on the merging point between art and technology and vary in function. A starkly different example in aesthetics, but equally creative in concept, is the Allen ring:

Allen ring by Noam Bar YochaiThe Allen ring has an industrial air to it, named after the screw that fits into it. (Photo: Noam Bar Yochai)

The Allen ring is made of aluminum. Unlike other rings that are adorned with pricey gems, this intriguing design houses a small Allen screw. Simple, sure, but undeniably a conversation starter.

Aside from the ring designs, Yochai's portfolio is filled with fascinating, clever projects: a notebook for your pocket that peeks out like a handkerchief; a pencil sharpener shaped like a turnkey; lamps that look like mushrooms growing from a branch; little bean-bag pouches that keep fruit from bruising. 

"In every design I try to incorporate some degree of innovation in the way I approach it, the way it will interact with its users or the way the materials are used," Yochai said. 

In this way, he adds to every project his own little piece of magic.

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Jewelry made to fade
Noam Bar Yochai's designs are more than beautiful — they each tell a story.