This is the piece commissioned as a gift for the outgoing board chairman of a local non profit jewish agency. It is wall mounted.
The Words in hebrew are Mee Ha-eesh...which in common vernacular translates to "Who Da Man?" Thes are the first two words taken from Psalms 34:13-15. The entire phrase is translated as, "Who is the man, who wants life, loves all his days, and sees the goodness." It is not really a question...rather it is an instruction.
The backing is a sheet of hand-polished copper. 1/4" above it is a sheet of clear tekta that I covered with black stringer and tack fused. 1/8" above that is a black rainbow iridescent, clear capped disk with hebrew lettering cut out of dichroic glass and a small chamsah (also dichroic.)
I hope the recipient likes it. He worked hard to benefit the community and deserves praise and recognition.
A wall mounted commission involving copper sheeting as a backing to the glass. Step one....clean it! Lots of elbow grease! Once it was clean and sparkling, I used hand sanders to etch swirls into it. ...and then....
an application of car wax to protect the shine!
...and then gluing some stand-off glass squares for mounting a first layer of glass.
I'll post more pictures in a week. The project is complete, but it is a commissioned gift...and the gift hasn't yet been awarded.
I've been commissioned to make a new seder plate. The glass pictured above is even more gorgeous than it looks. What appears to be charcoal grey here is actually purple! The plate will be inserted a custom black maple tray that my neighbor and co-artist Jack will make.
I'll post my progress on the project when I have something to report!
Join us this evening at 7pm in the Isaak Foyer at Congregation Neveh Shalom.
Our Art Show is entitled ART OF SACRED COMMUNITY and represents months of study in preparation for making art that honors Kehillah....community; sacred community. We are celebrating the synagogue's 150th anniversary!
A multi-media slide show, artist talk and pop-up shuk will accompany free refreshments and an opportunity to schmooze with the artists. Who are those artists? Laura Fendel, Diane Fredgant, Wendelin Russell, and me!
Here are two of my special pieces: Torah Adornments made of glass!
In many critique groups, the artist puts herself "out there", grits her teeth and braces herself to hear what is wrong with her art work. That is a generalization and possibly an unfair one.
Our group is different. When we meet, we bring a piece to the session. We follow a format where the artist shares the piece. It could be a sketch, a rough idea, a work in progress, or even a finished piece. The artist talks about the piece and frames a question for the group to discuss. The group takes a few minutes to ask clarifying questions ...and then they begin discussing answers to the artist's question. The artist listens and takes notes. What is great about this process is that it allows a good bit of dignity for the artist and it provides some answers! Yay! The artist then tells the group what she heard ....and sometimes even tells us what she thinks she'll actually do. Sometimes it evolves back in her studio. Bottom line....it works!
We met several times to prepare for our upcoming show. We had four hebrew words we studied in an effort to honor the synagogues anniversary and respond to something tangible. The original synagogues that eventually merged were Neveh Tzedek (Oasis of Justice) and Ahavai Shalom (The Love of Peace). They became Neveh Shalom (Oasis of Peace.) We brought ideas and/or works in progress and using our process we supported each other along the way.
Yesterday I spoke about Esther Liberman. Tonight more gratitude goes to Laura Fendel, Diane Fredgant and Wendelin Russell. Their loving support, advice, and close listening means the world to me. I hope I was able to offer some small measure of help to each of them.
Laura Fendel works magic with fabrics. In the piece she developed for this show, she blends architectural imagery from founding congregations Ahavai Shalom and Neveh Tzedek as well as the current Neveh Shalom. Remarkable in its juxtaposed architecture, it evokes a sense of past and present. There is also a holiness and the spiritual that is communicated through the textures of this piece. You have to see this in person to appreciate this work!
Silk artist Diane Fredgant has been conceptualizing her installation piece for sometime and its evolution has been a significant element in her spiritual journey as an artist. Best known for her tallitot, this installation is a contemporary interpretation of the Mishkan (our portable sanctuary in the desert.) You will step into a holy space and a unique experience. You will find spiritual refuge, contact with holy words, and the beginnings of many questions!
Wendelin Russell is a painter. Her large-format painting (and a small piece) are wonderful interpretations of being at the Kotel, also known as the wailing wall. You won’t see tears in this exploration of this timeless structure. There is expansiveness and yet, there are tiny details that demand you give yourself to the painting, and in return you will experience something quite moving.
Our artists' guild offers artists the opportunity to be part of what we call critique groups, but really...they are support groups.
Each group is different and has a different way of operating. The group I am part of is small. We all work in different media: Silk painting, fabric construction, painting, bead work, and glass.
We come together to inspire each other, problem solve, study, and eat!
Most recently we took on the challenge of creating art to celebrate Congregation Neveh Shalom's 150th anniversary! Our work is going up in the Isaak Foyer and the exhibit will open February 10th. More about that in a future post.
This is my part one gratitude post. What would I do without the amazing women who have over the years encouraged and motivated me...and more importantly have consulted with me and on occasion, made elements to add on to my project?
I created a torah adornment (aka breastplate) that needed that extra bit of bling. Esther Liberman, our bead artist came to my rescue. Don't let my poor photography skills take away from the beauty of these beads. They enhance the project in so many ways. Her choice of color, size, and texture all make for a stunning bit of embellishment. I'll post photos of the competed projects in another post. Looking at this photo I realize I need to get a better close up so you can appreciate the tiny copper elements sandwiched between glass beads.
Due to traveling, Esther was unable to create new work for this exhibition, but she has been involved with our process throughout. Esther is also our guild president and co-founder of the organization.
Thank you Esther! You are amazing!
Want to see her incredible artwork? Go to our ORA website or google: Esther Liberman bead artist. The work she does will amaze you!
Both Torah Adornments are finished. I will put the chains on tomorrow. Figuring out how to display them was a challenge. I borrowed two High Holiday (all white) Torah mantles. With the help of a dear friend Diane F, we shopped for dowels and finials at Home Depot. Problem #1: How to hold up the mantles SOLVED Problem #2: How to keep the pseudo-Torahs upright SOLVED
#1. Not only did Diane shop with me, but she also cut the dowels on her chop saw...and she cut cardboard inserts. The woman is a wizard with an x-acto blade!
The Torah mantles fit well over this structure. Two drapery finials were used to create decorative handles (Aitzey Chaiim- Trees of Life.)
#2. Solving the standing upright concern required a trip to the local hardware store. I picked up some plaster of paris and then scavenged some old clay flower pots from the garage. My husband provided the badly needed extra set of hands!
We begin the installation tomorrow. I'll post pictures!