One of the most powerful moments in my life was giving birth. Particularly, with my first child, Rachael, I was fully present, since it was a totally natural labor and birth. I felt the awe of bringing life into the world and connected to the Divine, the powerful and loving act of creating all. It was at that moment that I touched the desire to create driven by this most raw and potent reality. It was at that moment that I searched for a place to nurture my desire. I found it at Poppy, a homey fabric shop and took a quilting and applique class and discovered a way, to not only share with other women this art form, but to use my hands, just as my grandmother, Bubbe Faye, had done after her years as a Holocaust survivor. Hour after hour, with thread and needle, I watched her make beautiful tablecloths that would adorn the tables of her daughter-in-laws.
My first major project was Steve’s first Father’s Day gift incorporating the many Jewish symbols we treasured in our relationship together. This led to commissions for others and an unexpected burgeoning business. My very first clients were Sharon and Michael Strassfeld, authors of The Jewish Catalogue. Many others followed and by the time we made our home in Los Angeles I had begun creating family heirloom Chupahs, as well as Torah covers and other ritual objects. My most precious creation is my Post Holocaust Mezzuzah, an innovative mezuzah made of fabrics that reflected an old Victorian technique called ‘Crazy Quilt.’
Crazy Quilt uses small, leftover pieces of fabrics, sewing them together, and enhancing them with embroidery stitches. I wanted to express my response to the Holocaust, both the painful reality of the destruction of the Jewish community, as well as the personal pain my parents had endured. I wanted to provide healing through color, light, and texture through my love of handwork. Most mezuzah’s are made of metal, pottery, or glass. I felt particularly challenged to create something made of textile. In a liminal moment I received a sudden flash, a way to bring my many beautiful and colorful leftover silks into a oneness, just like the statement itself which is caligraphed on a scroll and inserted into the mezzuzah. Each piece of fabric represented one of the many parts of the Jewish community, disbursed throughout the world, and then tied them together with stitchery. The center piece of course is the ‘klaf,’ the scroll with the text from Torah. It was an important achievement for me, and I continue to make this special religious object as you can see and is still available for order. Below you can see a number of renditions, as each one is unique and one of a kind. It is part of the collection of the Judah Magnes Museum in Northern California and the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles; it graces many homes and institutions. It can be ordered by contacting me at 323-547-2286 or by responding to my website. Please view some of the many commissions I have created in the photo gallery.
"Color, texture, and pattern, bring light and beauty into one’s life”