Wednesday, March 13, 2019


My workspace, which is the corner of the dining room table. Hanging from the wall are some goose feathers, handy herbs, and last summer's tobacco leaves. Many thanks to Rav Ovadia, who is anchoring the string of many of these.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Mezuzah For Lauren

While not perfect, I'm happy with the way this 10-cm mezuzah turned out. Nothing is stretched or crunched too much, so that there is the appearance of the lines finishing naturally. I would like to improve this even more, but at least I do not feel that any halakhic legibility/letter-recognition value is disturbed by this writing, nor does it trouble my aesthetic impulse against excessive stretching. I cannot say it entirely satisfies my standards, but it does not violate them either.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Megilah pt. 3

The final yiriah, photograph taken after gold illumination, with closeups from before. As you can see, Julie had not yet finished the text at the time of illustration. 

A croaking raven atop the names of Haman's sons (the far margin will fold when the yirioth are stitched together so there is no tail).

A son of Haman, with the terrain beneath him changing to dead grass and destroying angel mushrooms.

Esther sits, scroll in hand. The same tree which hangs reshaim drops blossoms and golden leaves on her.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Megilah pt. 2

A full-page illustration at the beginning of the scroll, before any writing:

Various Persian sceptres:

Julie is writing on full-grown, ethically-sourced sheep qelaf. I'm afraid our eyes have been spoiled by fetal calf parchment which is so picked-over it might as well be paper, and I'm glad indeed that the readers of this megilah will get a chance to see something more beautifully irregular. So it's important to note that any apparent smudging is the natural tonal variance of the sheep.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Repairing a Torah scroll for Congregation B'nai Israel in St Catharines! Not pictured here is my son, who was "home" sick today, and so tagged along, learning how to grade damage to scrolls (crumbling: bad, fading: better) and the kashruth of letter forms.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Megilah pt. 1

I was commissioned to illuminate a meghilah written by my exceptional colleague, Julie Seltzer. Here are some of the details.