Often, when I make challa covers, I will make them in batches. While they are not identical, they are similar, much the way that siblings can often resemble one another.
My friend wants to give a gift to a wedding couple. The bride is Jewish, the groom Hispanic. The bride was delighted at the idea of receiving a challa cover as a gift. My friend wanted the challa cover to connect to the groom's Hispanic heritage as well.
Using Jewish Imagery from the Spanish Golden age seemed to be the way to acknowledge the intersection of Jewish and Spanish culture. Google Image searches make this sort of research wonderfully easy. I looked at tons of images of synagogues in Spain. I also have some books of Jewish Illuminated manuscripts with lots of examples of images from pre-1492 Spain. So after some time of cyber and regular research I was ready to begin designing.
I drew the arch design to size and then lay a sheet of Mylar over my drawing. I then cut the Mylar into a stencil using an Ex-acto knife. I used Shiva paint sticks with the stencil. Then I painted the lettering free-hand.
The muted colors reminded me of the old sunagogue in Cordoba, but my husband thought the challa covers needed a bit more glitz, so I spent most of today beading. These photos were taken in the morning and I wil post an update tomorrow..
My design isn't an exact copy of any particular synagogue , but it captures the mood of those Spanish synagogues.