On June 21, 2017 we celebrated the work of our hands with the 2017 edition of Show, Share, and Quell. Have a creative summer, everyone.
Anna Vandelman writes
Hats off to programme guru Paula Miller as she continues to bring creative ideas to us at the Guild. For our opening programme this year– in our new accommodations at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagoge – she brought millinery expert, Ampara Findlay of Hatitude to run us through the ins and outs of making exquisite fascinators.
Everyone was involved and excited to participate – including those who came intending just to observe. Personal knitting and crochet projects were put aside as we all rummaged through the Guild stash and chose items of our own that we’d brought along for the evening.
After a brief introduction, we got to work. Amparo went around to each one of us helping us with our choices and making suggestions so that all of our creations looked professional.
It was, indeed, a fascinating evening. And we are sure that many new items of headwear attracted attention at shul this high holiday season!
The Pomegranate Guild Outreach program “Seeds” travelled to Netivot HaTorah on March 30 to work with bat mitzvah age girls on a Life Skills stitching project. We enjoyed an intergenerational afternoon of sharing and stitching. This was just the start of the project and we are looking forward to the final work.
Anna VanDelman writes:
On a beautiful, cold, clear evening, Temple Sinai was ABUZZ with the excitement of creating 4″ x 6″ pieces of fabric into gift/greeting cards.
Rikki Blitt introduced our own TallitMaaven and fabric design diva, Marilyn Cohen Levy, who presented power point slides showing her amazing work on cards, postcards that yes, go through the mail, and a variety of her other amazing projects. And, who knew what you can do with dryer lint!
A plethora of ideas flowed through the evening. Marilyn generously shared an incredible amount of her stash so that we all took home several cards. This is pure mitzvah work allowing Marilyn to reduce her own stash and of course purchase more fabric. And I, for one, will never have to purchase another greeting/gift card. How lucky we are as members of this Guild to count such talent within our core.
Reesa Wasser flew in from Florida baggage and all to thank Marilyn for all her work and for sharing her special talent with us. Certainly a night to remember!
Anna VanDelman writes:
On Wednesday December 6th, three dozen Pomegranate Guild members and guests made their way through Beth Tzedec’s current renovations to the beautiful chapel for an evening of Judaic treasures – artifacts recycled and repurposed, in keeping with this year’s theme. Rkki Blitt introduced our speaker, Dorion Liebgott, who is both a long time Guild member and long time (25 years) curator of the Museum.
We sat in awe of the precious artifacts Dorion brought for our delight. Of particular interest to us as textile artists were items that involved the reuse of fabrics. These included a wimple (Torah binder) of German origin. The wimple was recycled from a infant’s swaddling cloth. It was cut into strips that were sewn together and embroidered with a formula including the child’s name, birth-date, and blessings. This binder would have been wrapped around the Torah used on the child’s 3rd birthday, his Bar Mitzvah and his wedding. We also examined was a Torah crown made of damask silk (rather than the usual silver) and a parochet (ark curtain) made of recycled fashion fabrics.
Dorion showed us Chanukah menorahs – one reconstructed from a rifle, and another made of empty bullet cartridges mounted on Plexiglas from the American Military – that demonstrate how Judaic ritual items can be made with objects and materials found immediately at hand.
Sometimes conventional items have inscriptions added to make them suitable for Judaic purposes. We were shown a large pewter bowl with blessings inscribed with reference to the redemption of the first born son for the ceremony of Pidyon Ha Ben, and a seder plate that was also created by inscribing a standard pewter plate. In some cases items are adapted merely by use: a locked sugar box and open candy silver candy dish are two objects that have become etrog containers by declaring them so.
Several Yads (Torah pointers) demonstrated a collage approach, constructed by adding multiple small pieces of other objects to create a pointer. Their awkwardness in both appearance and function are clues to the “fakery” behind their construction.
Many of the precious objects Dorion showed us were from the Cecil Roth Collection in the Museum, and Dorion also shared the story of how the Reuben and Helene Dennis Museum acquired them. All the photographs in this post are published with the permission of the museum.
Rikki thanked Dorion, as we all did, for a fascinating evening teaching us that we can continually recycle and re-invent old artifacts into new treasures.
All the photographs in this post are published with the permission of the museum
March is a great month for us to celebrate textiles and make more: Edge of the Forest, Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers, and a great opportunity for quilters to respond to a call for entry.
Members Melanie Siegel and Rikki Blitt have been instrumental in launching a Surface Design Association Canadian members’ touring exhibit, The Edge of the Forest. Both Melanie and member Barbara Goldstein have work in this wonderful exhibit. And Sheila Thompson, a past presenter at the Guild has been extensively involved.
We urge everyone to come out and celebrate their work at its premier opening in Richmond Hill on March 11.
Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers at the Miles Nadal JCC. “In honour and admiration of the remarkable African grandmothers, Waterloo-based Omas-Siskona (Grandmothers Together) produced Creating Futures: Threads of Hope for African Grandmothers. They invited Ontario textile artists to create and donate pieces celebrating the ongoing strength and resilience of grandmothers in Africa. The result is a stunning display of artistry, technique and inspiration.” Follow the link in the title for docent hours.
Sacred Threads – Call for Entry Juana Sleizer has brought this to our attention. The time frame for entry is tight, but many of you may have qualifying quilts to submit. For more information, click here, or the title above.
Anne Marie has a passion for techniques and a love of fabric, paper, beads, recycling and found objects. Many of us recalled her last presentation to us which left a deep impression. She is a self taught artist who credits her current direction to a combination of early exposure to fabrics as a child, school art classes, books and the internet. Robin Atkins’ on-line bead journal project continues to play a role in her life. Anne Marie is a curious, intuitive fibre artist with a serious magpie mentality who excels in the blending of techniques and materials. Serendipity, colour, nature, family, friends and visual journaling are the threads that tie her work together.
Anne Marie’s soft fibre arts doll “Fibrella” caught our attention as we walked into the room. And we were caught up in the amazing pieces of beaded work in fibre stitchery she had on display for us. Her dedication to journaling is special as she says it helps to put her into a piece by exploring what’s going on in one’s life and family. While working on a textile memorial to her late brother she became obsessed with beading and she showed many magnificent examples of her work. Among her other explorations, Anne Marie has experimented with three dimensional beaded forms (requiring curved needles and lots of patience) and fibre bowls formed on balloons using wallpaper paste.
Anne Marie showed us several examples of beaded textile self-portraits that formed the impetus for our upcoming 2015 challenge. It was an amazing evening that encouraged us all to continue to work on our beaded samples and to learn from Anne Marie’s philosophy: ALLOW YOURSELF TO PLAY.
For more textile portraits, see this Pinterest board, or do a web search for “textile self-portraits. http://www.pinterest.com/dianey1/textile-portraits/
Thanks to Reesa Wasser for photos, and Anne Marie Desaulniers for permission to share her work!