Envelope yourself in sacred space
Connect to your Essence...Your heart and Soul
The process of painting is a soul endeavor for me and creates a sacred space for the essence of Spirit to express through me. I wanted a way to broaden the scope of sacred space created by my art, a way to actually carry it with me when not in the physical presence of a painting.
The transition from paint to fabric feels natural. It is a way to bring the soul connection, the emotion, from my paintings into a tangible form, a form that can be experienced wherever you are. Given that my work reveals the true essence of who I am, the fabrics from my paintings provide a vehicle to wrap myself in, a “skin” that is truly my own.
Creating custom fabrics and paintings allows me to offer others the opportunity to surround themselves with images and textures that speak to their true self. What has worked for me, can work for anyone.
How it all began
My love of fabric began as a child with trips to the fabric store to pick out satin binding for my “Bonkie”, a baby blanket that never left my side. I remember walking the aisles feeling all of the ribbons searching for the one that felt “right”. “Right” meant familiar, safe and comforting. The association with safety and comfort was key in cementing my emotional connection to the feel of fabric and has carried through to this day.
Working with fabric and yarn is part of my heritage. My paternal grandparents, immigrants from Eastern Europe, owned a knitting mill in New Jersey, making sweaters and bathing suits. My mother was always knitting something and taught me at an early age the basics of the craft. I loved it. In junior high school my Aunt Rose took me under her wing and taught me to sew over many afternoons sequestered in her basement sewing room. She was an expert seamstress and to this day I wish I had practiced more of the skills she passed on to me. I made most of my clothes during high school, not out of necessity, but for the joy of creating something wearable out of nothing. I knit, embroidered, and made things out of whatever odd materials I could find. Throughout my adult life working with my hands, especially with yarn and fabric, has brought me a sense of peace and joy, continuing the thread of connection to that sense of comfort from childhood.
When life threw me a curve I woke up...
After a cancer diagnosis in 2017 my world as I knew it crumbled. Terrified and at loose ends, I knew that in some way this was an opportunity and a gift. Though not one I particularly wanted at the time, it had arrived when I had some serious letting go to do. Out of the emptiness and the fear emerged a call from my heart to follow my passion, to do what I love. With my life on the line physically I became aware of the importance of living it fully, no excuses, no holding back. I wanted comfort and found myself wrapped in blankets, hugging pillows, and seeking out whatever felt real and comforting to me. My first attempts at fabric design were invigorating. I spent hours hand sewing and beading, using stones that had special meaning to me. I incorporated metals and semi precious stones as a way of honoring both the tradition of my Jewish heritage and my connection to the Earth. I couldn’t wait to get into the studio to work on that first piece. It took me 32 hours of hand work to finish my first shawl and I loved every minute of it. I knew then that this was something I had to do going forward.
Why make wraps, throws and scarves?
Scarves and wraps are a way to create sacred space for yourself. Growing up in a traditional Jewish family, I spent many hours in the synagogue braiding the tassels of my father’s and grandfather’s tallis. The Kabbalah teaches that the tallis, a shawl which wraps around us, is a metaphor for infinite transcendent light and the fringes hanging from it allude to the intrinsic Divine light that extends into and permeates every element of creation. By wearing the Tallis, a Jew synthesizes these two elements and makes them real in her life.
Jews have always had a way of dressing that distinguished them from the people of the lands in which they lived even when that meant exposing themselves to danger and bigotry. I was bullied as a kid and sought to disappear into sameness as much as possible for safety. I was afraid to stand out for fear of being tormented even more. However, as an adult, especially in recent years since facing cancer, I have embraced the things that set me apart.
"I want nothing more than to “wear” my own skin, to express who I am and to follow my heart in all that I do."
Designing pieces that envelope us is a way of creating sacred space within and picking up the thread of my heritage that I abandoned as a young adult. In reclaiming the pieces of my soul that were scattered to the wind so many years ago I can now share them with you in a very tangible way.
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See many of my pieces in my Etsy Shop.
Read more about the story behind blankets, pillows and wraps here.