Book Description ( from Amazon.com)
Judaic Artisans Today: Contemporary Judaica in the United States and Those Who Created It is an inspirational book for those who love beauty, for artists, for readers, and for collectors, too.
For lovers of beauty: Just glance through the full-color photographs and you'll see the work of America's most skilled artisans working with such materials as silk, silver, ebony, beads, bronze, clay, glass, fabric, paper, and walrus teeth. The array is dazzling, the workmanship exquisite.
For artists: Artisans interested in starting to create Judaica, or to extend the range of ritual works they already make, will find quantities of useful information in the book's pages, in the indexed glossary, and in the annotated bibliography. The author, a professional Jewish educator, tells the how, what, and why of Jewish ceremony and the objects employed. She also tells what must be included in the design for the work to be kosher. Her suggestions are aimed to inspire creativity and facilitate success.
For readers: The 72 chapters profiling the artists present sensitive insights into the creative mind. Here, too, is a cross section of the American story; secularists finding spiritual meaning when they take on a commission to do a religious work; a scientist, an architect and a lawyer all changing careers in mid-life to work with their hands; grandmothers employing high-tech tools; young people learning the most ancient skills. Some native born, some newcomers, they now live in all parts of the United States, from New England to Hawaii, and each one has a fascinating story. Kathryn Morton's historical introduction, furthermore, gives an insightful analysis of the events and personalities that led to today's unprecedented growth of Judaic activity.
For collectors: Pictured here are scores of different kinds of exquisitely crafted ritual objects, not only familiar objects as menorahs, prayer shawls, and seder plates, but exotic items as a mechanical tzedakah box, an omer counter with mystical inscriptions, a blessing bowl, commemorative montages, and works in scrimshaw. An appendix tells how to contact the artists.
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