When I bought my first large loom my nephew was 11 and beginning work towards his Bar Mitzvah. I offered to make his tallit as a gift, he accepted and we all got lots of positive comments. From there I went on to my niece, my daughter and then began getting inquiries from others. When I design a tallit I work with the person who will be wearing it (and often the parents or grandparents, since this is commonly a bar/t mitzvah gift). I incorporate their interests in terms of colors, patterns, references to their parashah and anything else that comes up. A memorable piece I was honored to work on was for a boy with an uncle who was in Syria with the State Department. His mother & grandmother went on a trip to visit and brought back some beautiful silk thread. The mother used that thread to embroider the atarah for the tallit so we matched one of the colors of the weaving to that silk. All of my creations are one of a kind and I hope that they carry meaning for the user throughout their lifetime.
I fall in love with each project as I’m working on it. Each wearer is so unique in what they are getting – from the girl who was receiving the tallit from her aunt & uncle who proclaimed that it’s like being wrapped in her family’s love each time she put it on to seeing my daughter on the bimah reading torah to another girl whose parashah was about Joseph and wanted a tallit of many colors to family involvement in choosing something meaningful – I’ve had another mom who used needlepoint for the atarah for her daughter’s tallit. Now I’m just waiting for these kids to grow up a bit more so I can see their tallit used for their chuppah.