Monday, April 9, 2012

A Wimple In Time....

Being "out there" in the social media world, I do get some interesting requests from time to time. As an artist you see,  I love taking on challenges, especially those I know I will have fun with.
Last January, I received this email from a wonderful fan..... 

I found your page on facebook and see your beautiful items.
I am looking for a "wimple" artist for my sons 3rd birthday. Id imagine you might not know what a "wimple" is but it is a yekke minhag instead of an upsherin. It is basically a large piece of cloth (about 10 foot long banner) that the child wraps around the sefer Torah. it is designed with the childs name and pesukim  with pictures and designs. 

Does that sound like something you might be able to create?

My response back to her was ....

Hi _____! 
Honestly I have never heard of a wimple before, but it sounds really beautiful! I would love to make it for u. Could u send me a pic of one so that I can get a better idea of what it entails. 

Thank you so much for thinking about me! 

Have a wonderful shabbos! 

We emailed back and forth discussing pricing and the design of the piece. She was extremely helpful by sending me a video of a sample and sending me her own husbands in the mail along with the piece of fabric. 

To be perfectly honest with you, I was most frightened about getting the wording onto the wimple. I was terrified that the Pasuk wouldn't fit on the piece of fabric. What if I made the wording too big? What if it was too small and there was so much extra room??? Those thoughts plagued me as the package of fabric sat on my porch waiting to be worked on. I new that it had to be completed by a certain date after Pesach so I wasn't overly concerned that it wouldn't get done. But as Purim came and went and Pesach was upon us I felt that it really really needed to get started. I new that once it came out and I started painting it, I wouldn't be able to put it away. Would I get the wimple done on time????  Thank Goodness I work BEST under pressure of a deadline!

So last Wednesday night, as my wonderful husband was kashering our kitchen for Pesach, I hid away in my studio and began working on the wimple. Once I pulled it out and saw the beauty of the fathers piece I new that I was in for a really fun few hours. The first thing I noticed was that The fabric was thin enough that I could copy the wording directly from the fathers wimple onto his sons. Of course I had to change names and dates so I used the lettering and pieced the words together. This totally eliminated my worst fear! I was able to get the wording and sizing perfectly onto the wimple! PHEW!

The next thing I needed to do was to begin painting in the lettering and the design. The fathers wimple was decorated with a paint pen, I was going to paint his sons with fabric paint and a brush. The piece of fabric is made from a linen material which had a lot of holes. So I had to make sure that there was a paper towel under the piece the whole time. This would protect my table and protect any paint from going onto the fabric from underneath. I decided to paint the piece in a harmony of rainbow colors one color leading into the next word. 
Next I began painting in the tree design. Adding branches and leaves. 
Once the lettering was painted and the initial tree design was on I began adding the 3 dimensional effects. I used a puffy paint to raise the border around the letters as well as adding flowers and blossoms to the tree. It was also important to the family that I add pictures over the wording to describe the pasuk text. Half way through, at around midnight, the baby woke up and I fed her. My husband was still humming to his music while he worked away in the kitchen and I had been bitten by the creative bug and was just itching to finish the piece in my studio. So I happily returned to my seat and put the baby into her carseat on the floor next to me.
In the end it took me over 6 hours to complete and I left my studio at 3 am bleary eyed and exhausted, but oh so happy. I felt so accomplished! The piece was unbelievably beautiful and something so special that would be cherished forever. I took this video as I held the baby who was in need of another feeding, so you can hear her in the background :) 

In the morning when I came downstairs to roll up the piece and check that it indeed dried the proper way, I noticed that the paint had bled through onto my table. Oh well. Nothing a little acetone won't fix! Baruch Hashem, the family loved the piece and it's in the mail as we speak! Another challenge done and now on to the next one!!! 

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? Have YOU ever heard of a wimple before?


  1. I actually had a wimple made for my husband for our wedding since he never had one made. There is an extraordinary wimple artist in the heights named Anette (I believe her last name is Kirshner). Her work is in museums. She was eager to do this unique piece because for the first time in her years of work, she was able to put my name/our wedding date under the chuppah on the wimple.

  2. Aliza, that sounds so beautiful! I would LOVE to see what it looked like! Do you have a picture?

  3. Hi, I loved it !! Please, make one for my son[s upsherin!! send me an e-mail then I can tell you the dates and etc.
    Thank you so much!
    Kol tuv.
    Rochel M. Litwak