The best Mother’s Day is always a day filled with lots of hugs and kisses from my kids. I also like when they make me gifts.
A homemade gift is the best.
But then I saw these gorgeous clutches from Tesler & Mendelovitch and everything changed.
They’ve been on my radar for a while now. I love their structure, clean lines and modern use of materials.
Orli Tesler and Itamar Mendelovitch, the team behind Tesler + Mendelovitch, live and work in Tel Aviv, where they opened their studio six months after graduating from design school.
Using only the most essential items to create high quality forms, Tesler & Mendelovitch create never-before-seen materials and transform them into high quality custom-made products for industry, art and fashion.
I chatted with Orli several weeks ago and I’m thrilled to share some of her life and work with you.
Tell me about the name Tesler + Mendelovitch.
It’s rooted in our family history. As Jews migrated to Israel, most of the names were Hebraized, as was common at the time. Itamar changed his surname six years ago from Shaked (which means almond tree) to the original: Mendelovitch. My original surname was Tischler and was changed to Tesler, which means funnily enough ‘carpenter/table maker.’ The name is our way of respecting where we come from and also where we’re going to.
What are your backgrounds?
Itamar and I met whilst studying for our textile degree in Israel at the Shenkar University of Engineering and Design. Our shared outlook in regards to design and aesthetics led us to invest time in creating new textiles, which could have the potential to redefine the way we both construct and produce three-dimensional products.
What inspired you to start your design firm?
Design-wise we were and still are very inspired by the minimalism of clean lines and precision, but we also liked the idea of creating soft materials from hard, and hard materials from soft. Mostly, the material itself inspired us, as we think that the material informs the product. At the time (after graduation), we felt that we would be happiest in creating a space where we could experiment with our own ideas and be our own boss. Initially, we knew that we wanted to work on surfaces and see where that led us in terms of product design. After working intensively for a year, we launched our Diamond Woods furniture collection. From there, we began experimenting further with the wooden textile—working on a smaller and smaller scale till we achieved what we call our wearable wood textile.
I’d love to hear about your process.
Each project begins as a flat material surface. We then begin pulling and stretching, breaking and cracking, in order to understand the textile’s boundaries. We study the weak points and strengthen those, so that we can pull the flat surface into a three dimensional shape that it couldn’t before. This is true for all our products. They are all material-oriented and inform their own shape instead of the other way around. The beauty of starting from a textile is that it can be so many things, which is why we are not specifically furniture designers or fashion. Each project, the material lets us know what it wants to become. We just listen.
Where can we purchase your pieces?
The collections can be found at:
Not Just A Label
Anything new coming up?
We are currently working on a new project in collaboration with another Israeli designer. I can’t say too much yet, but we are in the semifinal stages of development and hope to launch this year.
Thank you Orli and Itamar!