(photo credit: )
After finishing their architectural degrees, Noga Arbel and Inbal Argov began working for a firm in Tel Aviv designing homes. After two years, they decided they would rather work for themselves than for somebody else and their company.
"We wanted to do our own things and make our own designs without answering to anyone else," says Arbel. "We were working for the same company, so we left together about a year ago to start creating our own designs."
Arbel and Argov wanted a name for their art that would express simplicity and taste, so they decided on Paprika: Design with Taste.
"We are going to design many things in the future," says Argov, "so we needed a name that would encompass everything we do, not just what we're making right now."
Their first product? Lamps. After searching unsuccessfully for "the perfect lamp" for their own homes, Arbel and Argov decided they could come up with something better than what was out there.
"We were looking for lamps, and we simply could not find something special that we wanted and that looked nice in our houses, so we decided to make our own," says Arbel.
"People really liked [the lamps], and we started making more and more of them. Then we began to sell them at the market and in a few shops."
With their background in architecture, Arbel and Argov decided to use materials that are at once functional, durable and aesthetic to create their simple, elegant lamps.
The lampshades are created by first wrapping wire with fine cords of rope and then covering the rope with colorful, durable pieces of lycra. The base of the lamp is made from special clay that dries in the air and is very strong.
"The clay we use comes from Spain, and it's very durable. You can throw it on the floor and it won't break," says Arbel.
The pair make a range of lamps that can be hung from the ceiling, mounted on a wall or adorn a bedside table. The colorful material wrapped around the shade creates ambiance in any room, and Arbel and Argov say that although the light is similar to a candle in effect, the glow it creates is brighter.
Like many other artists and designers, Arbel and Argov find it hard to part with their work, and they refuse to haggle with people in the market over the prices.
"We don't bargain," says Arbel.
Each lamp is made by hand and takes between two and four hours to create. The prices range from NIS 60 for a small light to NIS 160 for the larger sizes.
Many people who buy one lamp return to buy more later because they like the way the lamp looks and the light it creates.
"People are tired of rice paper lampshades," says Arbel. "They are looking for a new style."
But Arbel and Argov insist that lamps are just the beginning.
"We're working on many new things right now, but we want it to be a surprise, so we can't talk about them until we're finished and they're on the market."
Whatever new designs they concoct will first go on sale at their stall in Tel Aviv's Nahalat Binyamin market (at Rehov Rambam 20) and then perhaps make their way into stores. They are also working on a Web site where they can showcase their work, and they hope to expand as time goes on.
"This is our first year designing the lamps, and depending on what happens, we're planning on continuing to have lots of fun and enjoying ourselves while we create design with taste!" Arbel says with a giggle.
For more information, contact Noga Arbel at 052-8986-184 or email@example.com.