Portfolio > Judaica

Anika Smulovitz, mezuzah Judaica sterling silver tagua nut hand-fabricated hand-carved Jewish fish water
Maiyim Mezuzah
sterling silver, "found" fish pins, glass lens
7 1/2" x 3" x 1"

Jewish ritual objects hold the essence of Jewish life and culture. Creating contemporary Judaica allows me to examine contemporary issues through the Jewish tradition. It is not a religious interest that draws me towards making Judaica, but a cultural interest and an interest as a silversmith in creating work that has a ritual function. Through making Judaica I bring together my interest in academic research of religion and my interest in creating functional ritual objects. I am drawn to functional objects because of their interactive qualities. The people who use these objects, understand them both visually and tactilely, and relate to them on a personal level. I enjoy searching for the psychological "why" of religious practices. Some of the ritual objects I create are based on this research, while other pieces draw from the wealth of visual cultural history present in the tradition of Judaica.