Hamsa Tallis – Sketches for a Hand Painted Silk Tallis

Here are some sketches for a tallis for an upcoming Bat Mitzvah. I know, it means drastically switching gears… but I couldn’t resist, I do love making them.

Note:  Click on the images to view larger.


This tallis would have a peach mottled background. The design would actually have to be worked backwards to what you see here, with the black hamsas done first. The white would then be drawn on with resist to prevent the dye from penetrating it. Then the whole tallis would be dyed a mottled peach. There would be a lot of subtle variation on the white hamsas which would be mottled and pale due to the process. The design has 18 hamsot (is that the plural of hamsa?) Each one would be different, and would be more my style of flowers and patterns. The ones shown here were just copied and pasted from the web (except for a couple that I drew myself)

hamsa-tallis-sketch-2 The second sketch is more feminine and stylized with two larger Hamsot (I’ll just go with that). the visual elements would be outlined in gold resist. I may do them in black if the customer prefers, but it will significantly effect the feel of the piece, as black outlines will give it a heavier feel. I like the stripes as a visual element, but I don’t particularly like painting them! They are very hard to get on there straight, and will likely have variation in the line thickness.


A variation on the theme above, the Hamsot on this tallis have a floral print pattern. Again the stripes… what’s with that? I suppose it just doesn’t look tallis-like to me without them!I have outlined the elements here in black.

Looking at all three here, I think I should do one more with two simple black Hamsas on a peach background, like the first one, but without so many elements… I’ll wait for feedback from the customer though, as my backside has been glued to my computer chair all day and it’s gorgeous out.

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