Friday, March 27, 2015

More pix from Temple Beth Hillel workshops

This past weekend we had the last of three sessions in my papercutting workshops at Temple Beth Hillel and I took some more photos to share with you.
A big thank-you to Rabbi Eleanor Steinman for capturing this image
of me working with a student!

The students in my class really gave it their all – some finishing up their mizrach projects, and nearly all of them completing their midrash projects as well.

Papercutting in a workshop means you get feedback and support from the other students.

I took a bunch photos of the students hard at work; here are some of my favorites.

Yes – there were other southpaws in the workshop. Hooray for lefties!

I love seeing work coming together – the process is nearly sculptural.

The day was overcast, and the room a bit dimmer than usual...
but one enterprising student brought a mini lantern!

And of course, each student posed with their finished work. Some didn't quite get all the way done, but they'll be finishing up later – and you can already see how great those are going to be as well.

Barbara's mizrach was gloriously colorful.

Barrie built a house with the Hebrew letter bet and a tree branching through it.

Cindy made great headway with her midrash-inspired landscape;
just a bit more background to incorporate and she'll be dine!

Esther made a papercut inspired by Bamidbar, the second book in the Torah.
("Bamidbar" means "in the desert.)

Fran's "Miriam's Well" is so expressive, really capturing the shape of water blasting out.
You've got to see the image she used in the background of the water... stunning!

Leslie had a very complex design for her mizrach – so much time cutting,
not quite enough to finish backing it – but look at that pomegranate!

Margaret worked on three pieces in the workshop, including this "Tree of Life"
which she is backing with cut-out pieces from magazines she brought in.

Samantha missed the first session, so she had 2/3 the time of most students –
but still nearly finished this gorgeous tree!
Stuart (the lefty) was working on interpreting the hidden meanings of Hebrew letters.
His painstaking layering of colors behind the letters was inspiring (and time-consuming)!

Toby made a piece exploring "the endless cycle" of the Hebrew letter samech.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Papercutting Workshops at Temple Beth Hillel

This has been a busy season for me – workshops up and down the coast, with kids and adults, cutting paper like there's no tomorrow!

Right now I'm in the middle of a series of workshops for adults at Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village, California, and I love to share photos of the fun places I go and teach... so here we go!

During our first session the students made mizrach plaques – which designate a wall as "east," the traditional direction in which we pray. Most of the students were able to complete that project by early in the second session, when we moved on to "paper midrash" — telling stories about our stories, in paper. I love sharing midrash with workshop participants; I brought a number of books with me, including Chaim Nachman Bialik's Sefer haAggadah, which is a collection of stories and legends from the Jewish tradition.

This Sunday (March 22) is the last of the Temple Beth Hillel sessions; maybe the next ones will be at your synaogogue!

Workshop participants cutting paper under the watchful gaze of some beautiful Mordechai Rosenstein prints

"Look, I made a tree... where there never was a tree..." (Name that musical!)

Some of the students worked on adding a lot of detail to their designs

Building a wall out of paper

Our first project was making "mizrach" plaques.

I explained to my students that I usually work standing up... some of them liked that approach!

Look at that concentration!

As always, I provided some materials to help jumpstart projects

It gets a bit messy when we're working, but we always clean up afterward

That may be too many people at one table – spread out!

Using natural light through a window as a makeshift light table

It's always wonderful to see how workshop participants take to a new medium

Husband and wife cutting paper, side by side. How sweet!