Blurbs from the life of Portland bead artist, Esther Liberman
November 5, 2010
You might already know this, but a few years after you passed away, I met a woman who re-ignited my love for beads, and I started learning how to create art with them. Over the last 16 years, it has become a major focus of my life. I started by making earrings, then necklaces and bracelets, and inevitably entered the world of beaded objects. Before I knew it, I was creating picture frames, mezuzot, and even glass kippot! I often wished you were still here, because I knew you would love them.
Eventually, I found myself making beaded covers for Yizkor candles. I was enchanted with the idea, and loved the way the candle slowly burned down, illuminating more and more of the beadwork. And I always thought of you when I designed a new one, remembering that primitive plaster-of-paris Yizkor candle holder you made at Camp Swig. It was cast in a milk carton, and carving the letters brought you such delight.
And then one day, I was looking at someone's website, and she had these very simple blue-and-white stripes representing a tallis. Suddenly I got very still, and was overwhelmed with the memory of your passionate love for stripes, and for that exact symbolism. I knew I had to make a striped Yizkor candle cover, in your memory, and I knew I had to figure out how to include the first four words of the Kaddish. The mathematical planning took awhile, and designing the letters took even longer, but it was a highly charged mission, and it had to be perfect.
So here is a picture of the finished product, reflected in a mirror. I'm very proud of it, and it always reminds me of you and your passion. It has been in my sales display for a couple of years.
But the reason I'm writing this now, Abba, is that someone bought the "Yitgadal" candle cover from me at our recent art show. It's a bittersweet feeling for me, parting with it. At the same time, I'm so happy to have found a really wonderful home for this creation, where I know it will be loved and honored and used. The family who owns it never met you, but a little piece of your magnificent spirit now resides in their home.
Thank you for your continuing inspiration, Abba. I love you.