I had to make the physical reality of the materials I had at hand match the vision inside my head so I could complete Ari’s atara. I stitched the chiffon down to the layers of fabrics.
I then stitched around the word ohr/light with silver metallic thread. The stitching would draw the eye to the word.
But, then I had a second thought, beading the letters.
I know, it’s a slightly deranged idea. But I had a beading needle and my eyeglass prescription is pretty good, and I have lots of teeny beads. The process was obsessive but took less time than I had expected.
I also couched four rows of the silver Lurex yarn to the atara to border the piece.
I added dark bugle beads to the rays of light . You will be able to see those later in the post. Photographing this tallit has been surprisingly difficult. There are so many layers of subtle twinkle, shimmer and glimmer that it seems to have thrown all of the sensors in my camera our of whack.
This tallit is interesting because while it is in many ways serene, it’s really busy, there is so much going on. The silk is made up of layers and layers of dots of color that have been further embellished with beads and sequins. The pinot/corner pieces and atara/ neckband are made up of several layers of fabric that are designed to interact visually with one another, not to mention the additional hand painting and beading on the top layer of chiffon. I’m struck though by how unflashy this piece is, despite how much is going on when you look closely. The visual complexity draws you in to keep looking at the tallit.
Yesterday I finished assembling the whole thing.
Here you can see some of the beading on the tallit itself.
Today I ship the tallit off to Ari, in a couple of days we will tie the tzitzit together via Skype. I can’t wait for her to see the tallit in person.