12 Days Of Christmas Competition: No. 12 Tamar Mogendorff

On the twelfth (and final!) day of Christmas, we are giving away a Tamar Mogendorff wall-mounted swan, worth $625, to one lucky reader. To enter the competition, please click below.

Tamar Mogendorff works day and night on her handmade animals and objects. Referencing the natural world, Tamar takes inspiration from her kitty, Tulu, and also from her childhood in Israel. The daughter of a Dutch father and an Israeli mother, in her family someone was constantly making things – when you needed something, you made it, she says. Working with her hands is second nature to her, as she 'loves to feel things.'

For years she worked with plants and flowers, which nurtured her love of all things natural. She arrived in New York in 2001 where she was employed in a boutique flower shop. After working there for a few years she branched out on her own. Her objects gained a loyal following in the most organic of ways – she made some for friends and others who wanted them. Now her work is in shops all over the world, particularly those who endorse the handmade and enjoy working directly with artisans. Occasionally she works with shopkeepers to personalise their selection by customising colour or pattern, offering an individual, curated collection.

Sometimes, when she is working, her sister, and even her mother, stop by to help her sew. If needed, she has had a helper or two that she can call on. She recalls one potential helper protesting that they barely knew how to sew on a button – to Tamar, this was perfect. She enjoys the random stitches that an untrained hand can provide. The stitches are obvious, with no attempt to hide them, and fabrics are left to fray. These raw edges and loose threads recall another of Tamar's favourite things – roots. She delights in what is 'under the surface.'

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