Further Adventures on Tess’ Tallit

Yesterday, Tess came by to work on her tallit. Yes, she was pleased with the base color of the tallit. (In the same color family as my dining room walls, but not quite as flat and dark a color.)
tess's tallit (1)
Sky fabric over dyed silk twill

Tess’s task yesterday was to paint the strip of ocean and the strip of sky on silk organza. My job, particularly when working with  kids of bar- mitzvah age, is to demystify the process of making things.  I have found that too often that when people teach others how to make things they are so full of dire warnings that it makes it hard to proceed  without being in something of a panic.

Maybe it comes from my years teaching day care in a crunchy granola day care center. Also if you have pretty silk with a wonderful texture and choose pretty colors to work with, as long as the entire piece of fabric is filled with color, you just can’t go wrong. I kept reminding Tess when she would look at me for more direction, “ You just can’t mess this up.”

I like using homey tools, like upended cottage cheese containers to suspend the silk to hasten drying, and fat kindergarten brushes to keep the process accessible.

tess's tallit (3)
Ocean fabic over dyed silk twill
I hadn’t quite taken into account how beautiful the sheer silk organza would look over-laid on the mottled silk twill that will be the base of the tallit.
tess dye
dyed silk twill, please ignore the pink cast, it's the fault of my camera, not there in real life

Each of the silk panels will be further embellished with text.
tess's tallit (2)
Another view of the sky over the base
Today I set the color on all three lengths of silk, lots of dryer time and ironing on full heat, followed by  rinsing in cool and warm water followed by more drying and more ironing.


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