A commission after my own heart
One of the real benefits of having this blog is that it sometimes brings me just the right clients.
A few weeks ago I got an email from a woman in Florida who had seen some examples of my work via Google. She said that her husband, Rahamim had a tallit bag that his mother had made him for his bar-mitzvah. Rahamim was given his grandfather’s tallit to use at his bar-mitzvah. ( in the Sephardic tradition Grandpa was also named Rahamin. So as you read, realize that we will be talking about three men named Rahamin over five generations)
Rahamim’s grandson ( also named Rahamim) is having his bar-mitzvah this spring. Rahhamim and his wife planned to give Rahamim the bar-mitzvah boy the tallit as a gift.
They wanted me to make a tallit bag for the bar- mitzvah boy that incorporated the old tallit bag. Rahmim’s mother made the tallit bag out of her old living room curtains. Rahamim’s older brother got a store bought bag. Rahmim felt he had gotten the short end of the stick until he and his wife went to an exhibit of Sephardic ritual objects at the Jewish Museum.
At the exhibit they saw several examples of tallit bags made out of curtains.
This is Rahamim’s bag. This is the good side of the bag.
The other side is completely shredded. Clearly this bag was made out of a high quality 1940’s rayon damask drape. My task is to incorporate what I can of this bag into a larger bag. The upper part of the lining will have the full Hebrew names of the men who wore this tallit. Inside the bag I will have photos of the men who wore this tallit.
Rhamim’s family came from Turkey. The goal is to make this bag look like it was made from fabrics purchased along the silk road. I’m going to be piecing this bag out of several spice colored fabrics.
I began with this one. I began painting on this Ottoman striped silk/rayon blend in brown and gold.
I didn’t realize until after I had begun working what a brilliant choice it was. Like Rahamim’s mother’s tallit bag, this fabric had begun life with a different purpose. Last summer I bought my daughter al ong Vera Wang evening skirt at a thrift store. She asked me to cut it to knee length so it would actually get worn. This fabric was from the bottom of that skirt.
I painted the vines with an orangey glittery paint. Typing those words makes it sound horrible and clownish, but it is actually subtle and elegant.
I apologize for the lack of detail in the photo, my scanner does not capture subtle detail the way a camera does. hopefully, my new camera will arrive in a couple of days.
I’m feeling a bit nervous because the curtain fabric is feeling more fragile than it did a couple of weeks ago. I plan to fuse it to tricot interfacing to give it some support.
I love that young Rahamim will get a sense of his family history from this bag.