Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, Shevat ~ עץ חיים היא, Visual Arts

Eitz Chaim Shadow Box

A Shadow Box “Eitz Chaim” created by artist Paula Shuchat Miller using beads, fabric, paper wood, and stone (2007). The text of the Eitz Chaim – the tree of life – is printed on the scroll and is connected to the roots at the base of the piece. Here the words act as a foundation to support the growth of the tree and is an integral part of the natural ecosystem showcased in the box.

Eitz Chaim Mixed Media

BooksandBlintzes thanks the artist for allowing us to share this image of her work. To protect her legal and creative rights, please do not copy or distribute this image without the express consent of the artist.

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Jewish Text Art Challenge Galleries, Painting & Drawing, Shevat ~ עץ חיים היא

Etz Chaim – Shoshanna Bauer

Shoshanna Bauer Etz Chaim“Etz Chaim”

Watercolor by Shoshanna Bauer

In the artists words: “Etz Chayim is based on Proverbs 3:17-18 English translation of the lyrics: A tree of life to those who hold fast to it,and all who cling to it find happiness. Its ways are ways of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace. Help us and guide us, inspire us and provide us. With the wisdom Your Torah can show. Cause us to learn, renew and return, Just as in days of old.”

To learn more about Shoshanna Bauer and her art, please visit her website at http://www.imagekind.com/MemberProfile.aspx?MID=d518176f-597b-45af-9507-c00f9157a605

 

BooksAndBlintzes thanks Shoshanna Bauer for sharing her art with us. Please respect her creative and legal rights and do not copy or distribute this image without her consent.

Visual Arts

Else “Yva” Neulander-Simon

Remembering Else “Yva” Neulander-Simon and her photography. Born in Germany on January 26, 1990, she was murdered, along with her husband during the Holocaust. The image below is of the “stolperstein” (“stumbling block memorial “) located at her last home in Berlin.

To learn more about Yva and her work, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yva

Attribution: By OTFW, Berlin (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Book Reviews, Textiles

Embroidery and Sacred Text: New Designs in Judaic Needlework – Rachel Braun

Embroidery Embroidery and Sacred Textand Sacred Text: New Designs in Judaic Needlework is the author’s journal of her personal voyage into tying the mathematics of cross stitch design, planning and the final execution of the design to the celebration of various passages from text such as torah, tehillim, piyutim, decorative articles for the home, and personal family life cycle events.

The introduction sets the stage for the theme of repetition in Judaic text with the integration of math concepts present in embroidery design.

It discusses the idea of repetition that is evident in the Jewish calendar cycle, biblical passages that detail textual lists: of names, places, instructions for offerings, and instructions for the preparation and decoration of the mishkan.

The writer is a mathematician and is drawn to the orderliness of these lists, charts, the constant counting, columns, and the constant counting. She notes a similarity in the repetition of graph paper to woven fabric, particularly of Aida cloth which is the base for her embroidery echoing of the multitude of identical stitches needed to create the embroidery patterns.

The book consists of 22 full colour plates of embroidery in the “Blackwork” style. Blackwork, sometimes called Spanish work, is a very old type of counted thread needlework, traditionally done using black thread. Rachel Braun has given a new life to the form by using coloured threads to provide variations and contrast.

The book is divided into four parts. The first section of consists of beautiful colour plates of the embroideries. Each of the 22 colour plates is accompanied by a completely detailed artist’s statement and explanation.

The second section details the mathematical processes involved in creating and planning each pattern. The author delves into the concepts of geometry, symmetry, rotations, counting, and area, complete with enlarged detail colour plates.

Part three explains the differences between fill and border work in Blackwork embroidery, complete with an illustration of the graphing technique used. There are 3 pages of showing “fill” techniques, 2 pages of “corner” and “border” and “medallions”, and 1 page detailing progressive pattern (with a graph), all with colour plates.

The last section has both English and Hebrew fonts, graphed out for ease of use.

I enjoyed the detail in the colour plates and the artist’s use of colour. The embroidery work is exceptional. The attention to every stitch, every thought, and diarizing of each piece is intense, and would be most appreciated by an advanced hand embroiderer, a student of textile and embroidery arts, and one with a scholarly interest in Judaic textiles.

Paula Shuchat MillerThis review was written by guest contributor Paula Shuchat Miller. Paula is a Toronto-based textile and mixed-media artist, a certified Paverpol instructor, and a long time member of the Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Textiles in Canada. You can learn more about Paula, her work, and custom creations
at www.millerartfabrications.com.

Sculpture, Tishrei/Cheshvan - "Bein Ha'Or U'vein HaChoshech"

Creating Community With Light and Darkness

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Creation Mosaic, created by Wiebke, Stuart, Ana, Ephraim, Yonah Light, 2013

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Tzedakah Box, Wiebke Light, 2017

When I first found Wiebke Light’s work, I immediately fell in love with the colors of the Creation mosaic. Their vibrancy stirred up strong feelings of hope and unlimited possibilities. Reading about how her family had worked on the piece together, I was impressed by the commitment to the project and creative energy they had all brought to this work. Surely we create our brightest futures when we work together!

Her tzedakah boxes were similarly striking for the contrast of the black on white. In showcasing these images, the contrast allows us to see the details in both. Dark and light are necessary for the full creation, and makes the impact of the work that much stronger. They demand attention, calling for recognition and action. The starkness brings us out of our selves and makes us aware of our obligations to the community.

Light says the connection to community is important to both the Creation Mosaic and the tzedakah boxes. She writes that “both creations of art enhance our personal engagement with society – one by collecting charity for the poor and needy, the other by strengthening our ties with our own family”. We need our homes and families to give us space and partners to create. We need to have beautiful ritual objects inside our home to connect us to the world outside our homes. It is ultimately a question of connection. We see in these two different uses of color, the incredible power of the creative arts to foster our relationships with the people we love, and to remind us that we have the responsibility to work together to create a better future for us all.

BooksandBlintzes is grateful to Wiebke Light for sharing these images of her work. Please respect her legal and creative rights and do not distribute, copy, or share them without her permission. For more information about Light’s work, please see –

Dragon Bowl Ceramics https://www.etsy.com/shop/DragonBowlCeramics

https://bisamim.wordpress.com/

and  https://www.facebook.com/dragonbowlceramics/

About the Artist – Wiebke Light

(In her words)
Wiebke is trained as an art historian with a special focus on Medieval art and
Jewish Material Culture. She has come to creating Jewish objects after
graduation from JTS in New York with a Masters degree in Jewish Art and
Material Culture. She remains greatly inspired by the work of historical
Jewish artists and aspires to create Jewish objects that beautify our daily life
and Jewish ritual.
Since 2001, Wiebke has been working as an artist in different media. She
began her artistic exploration with linoleum printing, followed by sewing
and now ceramics. She took her first ceramic class in Seattle in 2011 with
the intention of teaching handbuilding techniques to Jewish Day school
students in the Pacific Northwest. After her move to Irvine three years ago,
she devoted more of her time to delving deeper into the medium. Since
2013, Wiebke has continuously taken ceramics classes at the Irvine Fine
Arts Center and the Orange Coast Community College. She strives to blend
her knowledge and deep commitment to her Jewish identity with the newly
learned artistic skills to create Judaica that is both unique, whimsical and useful.

Graphic Design

Joe Kubert: Text + Image + Time

Remembering cartoon artist Joe Kubert, who brought together text, image, and time, to tell stories of courage and justice. Born September 18, 1926, he is celebrated for his work with DC Comics. His works that draw from his own history and international event give voice to generations.