Tuesday, January 3, 2017

First Challah and Cherry Blossoms Guest Interview! TALLITmaaven, Marilyn Levy

Cherry Blossoms Challah Cover by Marilyn Levy, photo courtesy of TALLITmaaven.com

To celebrate the new year, days becoming lighter,  and the approach to spring,  I`m excited to present the first Challah and Cherry Blossoms guest interview! 

It`s an honor to introduce Marilyn Levy, otherwise known as the TALLITmaaven.   Marilyn, an accomplished Judaic fibre artist, uses texture through embroidery, beading, spectacular fabrics and color to express the beauty of Jewish Life Cycle events (Brit Milah, Bnai Mitzvah, wedding) and mitzvoth, ( Shabbat, synagogue accessories, chagim) such as the Holy Days and Shabbat.  Marilyn is a native of Hamilton Ontario Canada and has created commissioned Judaic fibre art for people around the world.

I discovered Marilyn`s works when I came across her beautiful Challah Cover, embroidered with Cherry blossoms!! And a yarmulke to match!! Jewish and Japanese together in a way I never imagined!!

S: Welcome Marilyn, It`s an honor to have you here as the first guest on Challah and Cherry Blossoms.  When I saw your Challah Cover and Yarmulke/kippah set with the cherry blossoms, I became excited.  Could you tell us a little about how you came to create those designs.

M:  Thank you, Joanne, for flattering me by asking me to contribute to your blog.
I have always admired orange blossoms since, when, as a young bride(1966), my new husband and I drove to Miami, Florida, USA.  As we drove through the state of Florida, we saw orange blossom fields after orange blossom field.  I created my first tallit in 1990, and have used textiles as my medium of choice ever since.

My choices for tallitot, challah covers, kippot come from requests from purchasers as well as my own ideas.  For example, the cherry blossom design always intrigued me since studying Japan as a child in the junior grades. This young lady, in preparation for her Bat Mitzvah, chose beautiful invitations decorated with cherry blossoms.  The invitation was given to me and I was asked what I could create to coordinate with the invitation.  I told them that I’d always wanted to make a cherry blossom challah cover.  They loved the idea and I created the challah cover that you saw on my web site. I would love to make a tallit with the cherry blossom design as soon as someone requests one for their special person. The cherry blossom challah cover and Kippah won a prize in the 4-Hobby.com 2015 annual competition last year.  I was very proud of it and am still to this day.

S:  That`s beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on the prize!
Your Tallit Prayer Shawls are each so unique!
 As you are known as the TALLITmaaven, could you talk a little about the Tallit, how it is used, and share a little about this special garment.

M(please see this link:) HISTORY OF THE TALLIT

S:  When I saw your Tallit prayer shawls, I thought of the Japanese Kimono---something about the cut and shape, the way it drapes on the body, the collar portion (in Japanese it is called the `eri`) and your creative use of color and patterns.  Am I stretching the connections or is this something you thought about in the designs?!

M: Actually, I use a mandarin-type collar of varying widths, on a shawl-shaped tallit because “it works”.  The construction works well.  Yep… stretching connection but it’s a connection that I guess I discovered by myself, rather than realizing it.. almost a happy coincidence.

S:  Thank you so much Marilyn!
I`m happy for this chance to meet you through Challah and Cherry Blossoms! And getting excited as we approach Cherry Blossoms season this year!!
Wishing you and all readers a Happy New Year!Blessings and Shalom!
interview abbreviations: S=Shayndel  M=Marilyn
For readers who wish to know more or visit Marilyn`s website, please visit  her at www.TALLITmaaven.com

Cherry Blossoms Kippah by Marilyn Levy, photo courtesy of TALLITmaaven.com

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