I finished a piece today that needs a title. It’s about all the things that make me feel connected to Judaism as well as the things that make it hard to connect. Images of both the good and challenging are layered in the shape of Israel (representing the people Israel) and wrapped in tefillin to show how we are bound to both the positive and the negative.
In order to show a little more insight into the thought process and creative process, a description of how the piece came together is below.
I started with images of things that connect me to Judaism and things that make it challenging. These images were printed on cotton fabric along with an image of Israel and the mirror image of Israel. I placed the Israel image on a layer of white tulle and then layered the positive images on that. When everything was where I wanted it, I cut out the West Bank and Gaza, being careful not to cut through the tulle. I then went to the difficult images and layered them on the mirror image of Israel.
Once both the front and back of the piece were done, I placed one on top of the other and sewed one seam so I could add one more image. Since the Torah is something that definitely connects the Jewish people to each other and also contains difficult passages that I have trouble connecting to, I decided to wrap the Torah around the side of the piece, uniting the front and back. Next it was time to sew the images in place with clear thread. (They were already secured with Steam-a-Seam 2, but with all the manipulation the piece was about to take, I thought stitching was needed.)
Next, it was time to sew right sides together (leaving a hole of course), flip it right side out, and stuff it. I decided to stuff the piece with green tulle so that was what showed in the West Bank and Gaza. Then I wrapped the piece with a tefillin-like strap binding both sides of the piece together.
This was about the time I started asking myself how the piece was going to stand up. I took a 1/2″ dowel and cut it just a little shorter than the piece. (Yes, I used a box cutter. It’s all about making it work with the tools on hand.) And for the base, I found a circular piece of wood, covered it with batting and black fabric, and then drilled a hole in the center where the dowel would go. (Yes, I probably should have drilled the hole first and then covered it with fabric, but I like a challenge.)
With the dowel glued in place, I carefully pulled the piece down over the rod and sewed it in place at the base.
Now I need your help. What should be the title of the piece?