Thinking things through

Yesterday I spent most of the day in Princeton. I’m being considered for a parochet/ark curtain commission. My buddy eve was kind enough to let me stay at her beautiful home and chauffeur me around town so I didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn.


After meeting with the parochet committee members I had lots to think about on the train ride home.


I may be using materials that I don’t normally use to make the piece truly durable and work for the space.

After I got home I had an initial meeting with Kyra to design her tallit for her bat-mitzvah. I always  love a kid with a definite opinion. Kyra knows what she wants.  She wants her tallit dead simple  out of heavy white silk charmeuse but with pink corners. No! She does not want an atara.


If she were any less clear about what she wanted I would encourage her to have a bit more going on on her tallit.


Today I began painting the silk for the pinot. this was thee first pass.


It was just too low contrast. Kyra was willing to have pink and silver,  so this is the second pass of color.



I’m still problem solving in my head about the Princeton parochet, I have been researching materials and pricing on the internet. I have been playing with sketches.


My mother used to say that she did her best problem solving while vacuuming. ( Our house was always VERY clean.) I tend to do good problem solving while making dresses.

I made two today.


This is one of them.



This blue on replaces another favorite dress that has just worn out.

I may post the other dress, a black and white sweater knit t-shirt dress tomorrow.

This dress making actually has helped me unlock some of the issues I’m working out with that parochet.


  1. Love the blue! It will be interesting if you get the commission. I have been invited to submit work for a prestigious German Museum which focuses on textile art. The difficulty is that the piece they saw and based their invite on was something I felt was very easy and meant to take it further in a similar way to your making dresses. Something that didn't have to be thought about intensely! So after I got over the bit where this was too easy and how could it be acceptable in such and such museum, I had to find a way to believe in it. I am glad it is a triennial exhibition! So, I have spent about 2 years developing themes for the work. It is very simple houses, so I have been developing the theme of neighbourhood giving the houses character expressed through accessories like path, chimney smoke and the trees and shrubs. It seems others like it because I sent some of my working out pieces for a Benefit Auction. the couple who bought one last year also bought another at this year's auction. and the president of the organisation was dismayed that it had sold while she was away and hadn't had a chance to bid!
    SO, now I just have to get on and make a start. I am still trying to believe this will be of worth to people! I'd rather them value my work that takes considerable time and thought! LOL

  2. Sarah, I had to look up parochet and oh my goodness some of them are to die for gorgeous! I think the ones I admired the most were on an embroidery site. What I didn't pay attention to were details, sizes, etc. Not knowing anything concerning the items - is the size variable? Is it handled often? You are so talented I'm sure this would be a major undertaking that you would handle beautifully. I have loved seeing your posts over the years (and it has been years hasn't it?) watching your ability grow by leaps and bounds. Some day, on one of my NY visits I would love to learn a little more about the items you make and their use. Maybe next time! Martha Ann

  3. Oh MAM - sop sweet of you. The size of the parochet depends on the size of the ark and I guess the desire of the designer. lots of standard ones are about the size of a baby quilt, others can be much much bigger. The parochet is opened and closed during the service typically before and after the torah service - well at least then and sometimes several times during the service.the opening and closing of the ark is an honor given to memebers of the community, it needs to be easy to use. Not everyone has a delicate hand.

    Some arks just have the curtain. the one I am workign on designing has outer doors and then the inner curtian.

    I would love to see you the next time you visit new york.


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