Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Work begins on a Mezzuza

I have begun work on a mezzuza, technically a box that holds a parchment with 3 prayers inscribed on it. The parchment is the holy object and the mezzuza is just meant to protect it, but to do honor to the parchment (and thus, indirectly, to honor God), and to extend the virtue of the tradition through the act of adding beauty, the mezzuza is often highly decorated. A mezzuza is placed on the frame of a door to sanctify a house and to protect it. Minimally, the main entrance to the house should have a mezzuza, but many houses, like ours, have mezzuzot (plural) leading into all the main rooms.

Many mezzuzot are made of sterling silver, but I make them out of wood. I've used driftwood, mahogany, and exotics. This one is mahogany. Here are 3 images.
The first is simply the raw wood, cut to the right size:

The next step is to begin carving. Rather than a traditional image, I decided to simply accentuate the dramatic grain of the wood.

Now, some gold work:

I'll post images of the completed project, when it's ready.

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