work, and I wrote to people whose work I thought was good
and asked them to send me slides.
"When the slides interested me further, I asked them to
complete questionnaires to learn how they got started, what
the Judaica means to them and how and what they like about
the media used. Based on the answers, I did follow-up inter-
Morton, a newspaper and magazine writer whose essays
have appeared in others' books, was invited to work on this
project by its late publisher, Seymour Bress. Although it was
finished in 1999, the book took a while to get to the public,
because Bress' sons had to take over the business after their
Judaic Artisans Today is currently available through book-
store orders and on the Web from Amazon.com .
Two Michigan artists are represented in the coffee-table
volume. Mary Etta Moore of Kalamazoo showcases papercut
images that capture scenes in Jewish history, from the Bible
to the Holocaust. Gerhardt Knodel, director of the
Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, is represent-
ed by a woven fiber installation at Congregation Shaarey
Zedek/B'nai Israel and stained glass windows and woven cur-
tain at Temple Shir Shalom; both congregations are in West
"Part of this book is the story of American Jews, although
some of the artists are not Jewish," says Morton, based in
Virginia. "They are fellow travelers. Knodel, for one, was
asked to advise a synagogue committee what they might do
ANCIENT IDEALS on page 74
Opposite page, top to bottom:
Susan Garson and Tom Pakele of Boulder, Colo.:
Chanukah menorah, ceramic, cast and hand built.
Richard Bitterman of Chicago, 'IL: "Coach"
Havdalah set, steel with brass; inside the coach is
a removable container for the spices.
Author Kathryn Morton supplies
readers with the backgrounds and
contact information for the Judaica
artists featured in her book.
On page 69:
Chava Wolpert Richard of New York,
NY: "Urim u'rumim," Torah shield,
enamel with fine silver and 24k gold
cloisonne wires. Inscribed with the
names of the 12 tribes of Israel, the
colors accord with the traditional
representation of the 12 touchstones
which the High Priest Aaron wore on
his chest. Richard is the daughter of the
late Ludwig Wolpert, whose modern
designs in silver revolutionized the
creation of contemporary Judaica.
This page, clockwise from top left:
Harvey Buchalter of Albuquerque, NM:
"Tree of Life," mahogany and ebony, is
reminiscent of a mobiuY strip in action.
Renate Chernoff of Rockville, Md.: Mezuzah,
copper foil and colored wires. This multicolored
fiber work seems to come alive in an exultant dance.
Marvin M Cohen of Bethesda, Md: "The
Olympic Eleven," tusk, assembled with sterling
silver and driftwood, inspired by the 1972
slaughter of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes.
Bernard Bernstein of Bronx, N Y; Yahrtzeit
lamp, sterling. "Teach us to number our days
aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."
David iVulman of Monsey, NY: Etrog
container, stained glass, design by Tsirl Waletsky.