Talliesm by Salha

 

 

Salha Mishaan makes unique custom talliesm and matching tallis bags. She makes an effort to work within a client’s budget, because she feels that finances should not be an impediment to a meaningful tallis.

A personalized tallis makes a wonderful gift for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, wedding or special birthday.

Prices range from $125 to $500 or more depending on the fabrics, embellishments, embroideries and complexity, with the average cost being $300-350,

Following is an interview with Salah that was published by the HEA newsletter:

Q: How did you get into Jewish Art? Do you work in other mediums? Do you have any formal or informal training?

I am the daughter of parents who were Depression era children: if you need something, make it if you can. My mom made most of our clothes and taught us how to sew.

In Hebrew school, we had art every week. I learned how to make a Chanukiah from a copper or aluminum sheet and how to make an embroidered challah cover and ceramic Seder plates.

Art in both public school and Hebrew school were very important when I was a kid. My heart breaks that art programs aren’t available to every student every day in every grade any more. I started taking classes in wheel throwing pottery in the early 1990’s at Bemis Art School in Colorado Springs, and still take classes there. I did show and sell pottery when I lived in the Colorado Springs area.

Q: What are some goals behind your art?

Art is a lot cheaper than therapy, and you end up with something tangible at the end of the work session. My goal is that illusive sanity. Seriously, my goal for each tallis I make is that it enhances the kavanah of the person who wears it. Whenever I start a new piece my forefront intention is, whether it be beautiful in its simplicity or its detail, it should be worthy of presenting ourselves to HaShem .

I want the tallis to be comfortable and pleasing to the worshipper, so the person feels raised to a greater sense of awareness that he or she is in the presence of HaShem— to act and pray accordingly.

 

Q: How did you get started creating tallesim?

At Temple Shalom in Colorado Springs, I would request alliyot for my parents’ yarzheits and would borrow a tallis for the alliyah. The new rabbi, Rabbi Moskowitz, explained to me that if I take on the mitzvah of an alliyah, I should also take on the responsibility of the surrounding mitzvot. So if I have the honor of an alliyah, I should wear a tallis. If I wear a tallis for an alliyah, I should wear a tallis to pray. I didn’t want to wear a tallis made for men. I didn’t want the commercial tallesim for women I saw. So I made my own. The rabbi asked me to make one for her, and then some of the women who were completing their conversions each wanted a customized tallis for their b’not mitzvah . Things just took off from there.

 

Q: Which piece best represents who you are as an artist? Do you have a favorite creation and why?

I think each tallis is a little bit me, as much as the person I have in mind when I am creating it. I never knowingly make a tallis in sports team colors (your tallis should be about worshipping HaShem , not a football team); my preference is to work with natural fibers, most often Dupioni or raw Indian silk, and unique eye catching designs.

My favorite tallis is often the most recently completed one. I get excited when the tallis represents the personality of the person who ordered it. When I am making one for my inventory, I usually have someone in mind. I love when that person sees it and wants to own it. Sometimes, though, the fabrics just call to me, and the tallis makes itself. I am just the seamstress.

If I have to choose a masterpiece—Rabbi Moskowitz’s new High Holy Days tallis is perfect. It has the
Rabbi’s sparkle, and it is humble with quiet beauty. I am also very impressed with Chazzan Goldstein’s
blue and gold tallis. It’s really quite simple, but very striking. Much like our Chazzan’s chanting: he doesn’t need an orchestra; he only needs his voice and our participation.

 

Q: Where can we learn more about your work?

I am working, slowly, very slowly, on getting a website up and running. In the mean time I am a regular participant in the Boulder Jewish Festival and was honored to be accepted in the 2018 Dependable Cleaners Art & Jewelry Show. I am always happy to talk about my work in person and on Shabbat you can see a number of my pieces on the shoulders of congregants

 

 

 

Mention this page and Salha will donate 20% of your purchase to the Colorado Hebrew Chorale.

Orders must  be made a minimum of 3 months before the delivery date.  At this time Salha is not taking any orders for talliesm needed before mid-January 2019.

Contact Salha at: salha@earthlink.net