Thursday, December 4, 2008

Calligraphy on Silk

To prepare the silk, so the calligraphy letters won't spread, I apply a layer of Jacquard's No Flow mixed down with some water. Then, I thicken up the silk dye with some Pebeo Soie Thickener. I've got a template underneath the silk for placement of the letters (and so I don't forget any). I use a flat brush, creating thick strokes with a flat stroke, and thin lines with just the edge of the brush.
This Hebrew calligraphy is the traditional blessing said when one adorns a tallit, or Jewish Prayer Shawl: "Blessed are You O Lord, our God, King of the Universe Who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to wrap ourselves in tsitsit."
The calligraphy in the context of the almost-finished prayer shawl.

9 comments:

Dewberry Fine Art said...

Hillary, this is so beautiful. Your calligraphy is amazing. I had to laugh about using the guide so you won't forget anything. I once painted a bread board with strawberries for my mother and wrote the word strawberries and left out the 'R' after the t and did not notice it. So I understand....

Erika Nelson said...

Always great attention to detail, that be you! Another beautifully rich painting. I hope your clients love their shawls as much as I love mine!

Hillary Miller said...

Dori, you SO get me :) Thanks for the comments!

Thanks, Erika. I loved seeing the pics of you wearing the strawberry shawl at the Charles Reid Workshop!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Wow! This looks almost Tibetan. What does tsitsit mean? Silk? A variation on shawl?

Anyway.... great work - really. You have the patience and steadiness I no longer possess.

Hillary Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hillary Miller said...

Thank you Suzanne. Tsitsit refers to the specially tied fringes of the Jewish Prayer Shawl. Each corner of the shawl has four strings which are tied in a prescribed manner to represent the 613 commandments in the Torah (known to many as the Old Testament). So wearing a prayer shawl is like wrapping your self in God's commandments, so you keep them close to you. Most Jews today wear a prayer shawl (called a tallit) during sabbath services when the torah is read. Orthodox jewish men wear a tallit garment all the time.

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

This is SOOOOOOOO beautiful. Is this a gift for a Bar Mitzva boy?
How about Shabat Challa cover? You can put them in any of the Chabad stores.
Beautiful art work.
Also see my comment to you on my Blog.
Happy sunday, Irit

Hillary Miller said...

Irit, thank you! A grandma has commissioned this tallit for her granddaughter's Bat Mitzvah.

I have a selection of challah covers on my website at

http://www.hillarymiller.com/challahcoverpage.html

My works are a little hard to sell in stores because stores want a wholesale price which means only half the price for me, and everything is a hand painted piece of art. But I want to hear any and all suggestions for the improvement of my work and for the sale of it too. Thank you!!!

Paintings by Irit Bourla said...

The challa covers are amazing too.
For the next wedding I am buying one.