Show Share and Qvell

Show Share and Qvell – June 18, 2014
Anna VanDelman reports:

Our June meeting was a treasure trove of textile art by members!


Shirley Gossack showed her completed cross stitch piece for the Torah Stitch by Stitch Project co-ordinated by our own Temma Gentles. Several members of the Guild have committed to this incredible project of stitching the entire Torah.

Karen Sanders has been totally wrapped in completing baby blankets  – 26 of them, along with one baby sweater. She moved from knitting to crocheting and back to knitting. Karen opened her storage stash to show us a blanket she made 39 years ago, a quilt with animal pattern. She showed us a 43-year old blanket her own grandmother made for her children, and she also knitted a baby hat that she will be bringing on her trip to South Africa to welcome a new grandchild. Karen is taking along a long pine needle basket made by her late mother. Safe trip, Karen and Michael.

Anna VanDelman showed a renovated Torah Mantle. The mantle was created by her Rabbi, Jarrod Grover’s, late mother in honour of his Bar Mitzvah twenty years ago. It needed renovation as the Torah it covered was rewritten and was now too long for the old mantle. In the spirit of collaboration, Anna brought the mantle to Temma who in her talented wisdom chose a perfect bronze-coloured fabric as a base to re-apply the multi-coloured rainbow needlepoint. Anna did the dedication inside the mantle.

Melanie Siegel showed exciting new pieces as she continues to experiment with her new felting machine.

Chaya Erez’s “Dice Drawing” based on throwing dice on the paper hoping to hit the centre producing a random piece. Chaya decides the rules, but the final product comes by chance. Her numbered grid of 6 rows by 6 with pulled out fabric, random shapes, random sizes and placement produced a finished product. You can only see this at the Pomegranate Guild where talent and creativity meet.

Honey Mitchell showed us a quilted square with embroidered centre evoking family memories.

Nora Freund used bits and pieces of left over wool from Eileen Jackson’s mountains of mittens project to make square dishcloths, and one in particular with a red maple leaf that only shows when held at a certain angle.

Juana Sleizer showed two beautiful tapestries, black and white abstracts reproduced from her daughter’s paintings.

Gwen Orriell shared a gift to her from friends recently returned from Japan. Two large pieces of specific Japanese patterned fabric. Gwen also showed her beautiful letter Shin made at one of our programmes earlier this season.

Bruria Cooperman showed a new piece using an ancient technique known as encaustic. Wax is poured on a board fused and repeated. Colour becomes embedded in the wax to complete a wall hanging.

pmiller1Paula Miller showed two Passover ties, one featuring a glass of wine which has spilled and the other the Stanley Cup of Hockey fame. (No explanation necessary).

Paula also showed Challah covers made by her students at a seven-week silk painting class she gave at Beth Emeth Synagogue.  Paula brought her students with her tonight. Yascher Koach to all.

Elaine Genesove showed a beautiful completed first square of a chuppah. Glad to know you need a chuppah, Elaine!

Dorothy Klein showed two challah covers. One cover had her wedding photo transferred onto fabric and applied to the fabric; one cover featured the days of creation.

A hearty Yascher Koach to all Guild members for sharing their work, inspiring us, and for giving us all the opportunity to qvell.

Happy Summer to all!

Let me count the ways

Anna VanDelman reports:

Our meeting of May 21, 2014 was brought to you by the Count of Sefirot (further apologies to Sesame Street).

Our guest presenter was Laya Crust. A native of Winnipeg, this mother of six currently resides in Toronto. Laya has studied with world renowned artists and calligraphers in fields such as drawing, painting and printmaking. In addition she has engaged in Jewish studies in Manitoba, Toronto and Jerusalem. While she continues to work in a variety of media (fabric, glass, clay and silver) much of Laya’s current work is with paint and inks on paper.

From her artist’s statement: “Whether working on a ketubah, painting designs for a 5’x 6’ window, interpreting a story from the Bible or designing a fundraising piece, I work to uncover the essence of the message. In that way I can talk to the soul of the viewer.” Laya’s work is truly a celebration of what life has to offer us. A current piece of note is a Megillat Esther, wherein the ten sons of Haman (yimach shemo) are depicted as evil world leaders throughout history. This and other of her works are in private collections around the world.

Laya is no stranger to our Guild. She did a memorable presentation for us on calligraphy 23 years ago that remains fresh in the minds of those who attended it. Chaya Erez introduced Laya Crust and the current programme based on counting. How do we love our holidays? Let us count the ways: “And you shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, 7 weeks/49 days the fiftieth day being Shavuot”. We count the days from the second day of Passover to the forty-ninth day, Shavuot, when we became a nation receiving the Ten Commandments, our constitutional charter.

To help us count the days between Pesach and Shavuot we can use an omer counter. Omer means measurement. We measure an omer of barley, the Shavuot grain offering in the temple. We use attributes of the Sefirot to make ourselves better, rising from a state of impurity to a state of heightened consciousness. These days are also connected to a time of mourning for Rabbi Akiva’s 24,000 students who died of the plague. No celebrations are permitted until the thirty-third day when the plague stopped. Lag B’omer is a day celebrated with bonfires and the mourning period resumes until Shavuot. Laya took us on a visual power point trip with a showcase of exquisite counters from around the world to inspire us. She also brought real counters to show us, including one adapted from an advent calendar. Pomegranate Guild members, Elaine Genesove and Paula Miller showed their own beautiful omer counters and then members engaged in the process of creating omer counters with samples prepared by Laya and assisted by her husband (thank you!). Guild member, Chaya Erez thanked Laya for helping us turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. Truly, an evening of magic! Thank you Laya for allowing us a glimpse into the phenomenal creativity of your artist mind.