למען תזכרו ועשיתם

One of the things that I am really proud of is I have a reputation for taking on projects that are sort of out of the box. 

The woman who asked me to take on the kittle project realized part of the way through our initial meeting that perhaps I might be able to help out with some projects for her son's upcoming bar mitzvah.

The bar-mitzvah boy's grandfather died right around the time the boy was born. The bar-mitzvah boy was named for this grandfather. My client and her husband wondered if I could turn somehow add something of Grandpa's tallit to the tallit they had already purchased.

Clearly it is easier to integrate a treasured textile if that textile is part of the design process from the beginning. Never the less I was ready to think about how to think about this problem.

The coloring of the new tallit is intense, a midnight blue and peacock green. There was also the issue of how to share bits of the tallit with the other 8 grandchildren. I am going to table the issue of the other grandchildren for the moment, just as this family and I had to.


I did think that if I dyed some of the strands of tzitzit from grandpa's tallit to a nice rich color, I could couch it onto the pinot, the corner pieces.

Grandpa's tallit was clearly worn while sitting next to a bored child at synagogue.
There were several extra knots enthusiastically added to the ritual knots and wraps. I untied both the knots added by the bored child as well as the regulation knots and wraps. It took a while.
Then it was time to dye the tzitzit. I put a bit of dye into a plastic bag, added some water and then the tzitzit.

I then mushed the diluted dye around the tzitzit untl the color was evenly distributed.

Then I let the tzitzit dry for twenty four hours.That will make the color fairly permanent.
The next day I heat set the color on the tzitzit. In layman's terms, i put the tzitzit between the folds of a cotton napkin and ironed the napkin encased tzitzit for several minutes.  The tzitzit were a crumpled mess.

I then pulled each strand under the sole plate of the iron, and by then they were straight. For good measure I repeated the pulling under the iron process again . It was fun and also REALLY made sure that the color was set.

Next, I couched the threads around  the satin stitching at the edge of each corner piece.


It's a subtle addition.Here you can see the corner piece on the right with the couching and the one on the left without the stitching.
These photos are really enlarged. The effect in real life is really subtle. There are enough bits of the tallit that all of the grandchildren can have a bit of it.

I could write a long and sentimental paragraph about how the whole point of the tzitzit is to help us remember as we daven and how the one strand of the tzitzit  from Grandpa's tallit will help his namesake born just as Grandpa was dying remember  the man he was named for and how much he was loved by his family, but I will leave the writing of that paragraph to someone else.

Comments

  1. Your talent is so amazing, and such a treat for us to view!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sarah - What a gift it has been to have met you. Thank you for this.

    ReplyDelete

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