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Priestly Blessing


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This work is designed within a grid of seven columns and five rows. The bottom row represents the fingers of the priests arranged in the distinct manner in which they hold them beneath their prayer shawls during the recitation of the blessing. The top row of ten small circles represents the minyan of ten required for the priests to recite the blessing publicly. Thus, each circle represents an individual Jew. Therefore the same circles are used within the blessing to stand for the word “you”. The three phrases of the blessing itself are centered to form the three middle rows of the collage.

The background, blue paper is made by David Carruthers of the Papeterie Saint-Armand in Quebec. It is made on one of the only old Foudrinier paper machine still running in North America. The 250 gram paper is made entirely from blue denim.

The rough, tan paper used for the human elements—the fingers of the Kohen, the minyan at the top and the ‘you’ within the blessing is a handmade paper from southern India fabricated entirely from gunny sacks.

The light blue paper in the first phrase is a heavy, handmade paper by the Langdell papermakers from Vermont. It is made from 100% cotton fiber, is internally sized and buffered and has a beautiful luster.

For the gold, Japanese paper called Midare Antique is used. It is made from sulphite pulp coated with a fine metallic foil membrane. The delicate, random pattern seemed perfect.

David paints the deep blue paper himself to get the shade he wants.

These pieces are handmade and signed by the artist.