It was then Rahelli's turn to give a lecture on her work. Surprisingly, the subject of her work is quite dark but very interesting. The small pieces we were seeing dealt with war and also the concentration camps. They were small but stunning pieces, and had very powerful messages, with stamped images of the buildings at Auschwitz on one of her pieces, and she had also used some material from her mother in law's dress on another, but again, with a powerful message. Rahelli's work included lots of mixed media, printing, stitching, and as I mentioned earlier, buttons, beads and other materials.
For someone who has a wonderful sense of humour and laughs a lot, these pieces really did surprise me. As I said, to my shame, I didn't photograph any of them.
The other works in the show were quite beautiful and I show some here for your delight and delectation.
a figure etched on wood
Pen and ink drawing
This was fabric wrapped around seed pods
One of Amnon's cityscapes, note how it is just nailed to a frame
There were two or three of these, fascinating pieces, especially when you look closely
Beautiful embroidery, but with a powerful message
Another of Amnon's pieces. He told me that he just started on the outside and then worked across, weaving as he went
Felt markers on Formica, but almost echoing what Amnon does with his stitching
This again is felt markers on formica and just a stunning piece of work
I came out loaded down with catalogues from this gallery, but now it was time to move on to our last stop of the day at Kfar Warburg. We were going to visit the studio of a paper artist, Racheli Joseph. So we board the bus, and soon are on our way passing through Qiryat Malakhi. Now, I have never been there, but I had friends who visited earlier this year as here I was in Los Angeles!!!!! But they were in the States and here I was in Israel.
We arrived at Racheli's home, and she was there to greet us. There is a lovely big covered porch under which there was a huge table and lots of chairs, the coffee pot was at one end along with a tray of cookies, we made ourselves comfortable and then Racheli did what is known in Israel as "opened the table". In other words she filled the table with food and desserts which we all enjoyed immensely.
Here she was cutting pieces off her home made cheese
After we had filled our stomachs, we went to her studio. I don't know where to start telling you about this wonderful place, her studio was huge and again, there were chairs laid out and we made use of the stairs, and she told us about her work. It was beautiful.
Some of the raw materials, Racheli works with. Kozo which she grows outside her studio although its getting to the point where it's almost climbing into the studio!
Her work was stunning, and there was so much to see, these photos are really a small number of those I took. I had never seen such a wide range or body of work.
These are bleached leaves which are then arranged into a design
I loved this piece
She passed around these small samples of her paper, which she had stitched into, they were very inspiring
To be honest, I don't know what else I can tell you except to say that I was itching to get creative. We were allowed to wander freely around her studio, and upstairs she had her weaving studio, again beautiful pieces.
She was just amazing. Her son had been killed in one of the wars, and although it has taken her some time, she has actually made paper from his jeans. Just before we left, she was kind enough to hand out a small gift, a fold out card with pictures of some of her work, and a small sample of handmade paper. Something I will treasure, and it will appear in a piece of my own work I have no doubt.
I couldn't believe what a wonderful day this had been, and I was just stunned by the quality of the work I had seen. It should be remembered that from a quilting point of view, there are very few outside influences, I can't speak for the others, but I would suspect that it is similar. But lets look at this from a quilter's point of view.
Quilt teachers do not travel to Israel, some may have done, but it is not usual. Shoshi works extremely hard as does Eti, to get Israeli quilting out on the world wide stage. Eti is the Israeli representative for the Mancuso shows in the States and does a wonderful job of promoting the work of the quilters from Israel. Shoshi, Bella and Maia had been to St Marie-aux-Mines in September to show their work, and Shoshi had taken a lovely show, The Song of Songs, to Veldhoven in the Netherlands in October, arriving home three days before I got there. They take classes if they are in Europe and get the opportunity. There is the Israeli Quilter's Association, and then there are also groups of quilters who get together to work, I met the lovely ladies from Quilt Trio one evening, but more on that later.
A lot has to do with the colours of where they live, the situation they live in, and also the many influences from Jerusalem to the Bible and all points in between. I think they also "feed" off each other but all have very distinct styles and yet, you can't pin any of them down as one quilt may be very different to the next. I cannot tell you how inspired I was by all I saw while I was there. I have started a piece since I got home and will now leave it until it tells me what it would like me to do with it. I was hoping to start another piece but my overhead projector blew a couple of bulbs, so I have to wait for new ones to be sent, could be the middle of January before I see them.
It was time to go home now, and the bus dropped us off, and then Shoshi and I headed to the mall to get a new camera. I had taken 466 photos on my phone in two and a half days, so I knew it wouldn't last me if I carried on! Who knew what I was going to see next?