Hot colors, cool porcelain

Maraz Studios
Judaica art work
Judaica art work
Artist Margie Razar has been painting on porcelain for more than 30 years. As a china painter and Judaica artist, she is one of a select group of artists.  Her celebration of Judaism is reflected in the bright joyful colors of her porcelain art.  The energy enmanating through her use of color and design, connects the artist with the beholder.  Her work is known worldwide and has graced the covers of catalogues and other publications.
Maraz Studios' Judaica includes designs for menorahs, dreidels, seder plates, matzah trays, Miriam and Elijah cups, Kiddush cups, Shabbat trays, candle holders, mezuzzot, tzedakah boxes, havdalah sets, purim plates, apples and honey sets, Ani l'dodi vases, State of Israel cups, washing sets, estrog boxes, and a beautiful wedding cup and tray. If there is something not listed that can be done in porcelain please let Margie know.

Kiddush cups and mezuzot. Havdalah sets and candleholders. Seder plates and menorahs.  Why give a gift of Judaica such as these to the Jewish bride and groom, to the bar/bat mitzvah celebrant? The answer is that all of these items, these Judaic ritual objects, are found and used in a Jewish home and have a religious significance in Judaism.  They can be fundamental in the performance of a mitzvah (commandment) or an integral part of leading a Jewish lifestyle.  The Jewish wedding and the Bar/Bat Mitzvah are full of meaningful rituals, giving expression to the deepest significance and purpose of these ceremonies. Why not then, give a gift as a reminder of that significance and more?
These Judaic objects stand to remind us of the beauty and timelessness of our Jewish religion.  They serve as a reminder of our links to our ancestors.  We know that these rituals have survived thousands of years and that there have been numerous oppressors who tried to stamp out not only these rituals but all of Judaism as well.  They serve to remind us that in these days of turmoil in the world and in Israel, we will survive as a Jewish people.  They serve to remind our children that we are proud of them and confident that they too will continue our traditions and rituals.
In this electronic and technological age, can we see our way past giving an ipod, an iphone or some other ultimately disposable device, to giving a beautiful Judaic art piece that will become an enrichment of the recipient’s observance of that particular ritual?  A gift that might become an heirloom, treasured today and passed down to tomorrow? The answer should be a resounding YES.
There once was a time when there was little to choose from when buying Judaica. And indeed today, with outsourcing art work to China, there is much mass produced Judaica.  However, the individual Jewish artists who produce unique Jewish art work strive to create sacred objects that not only reflect the Talmudic idea of hiddur mitzvah:  “the glorification and enhancement of Jewish ceremonies” but to make them as objects of beauty, something that connects the artist with the ritual as well as connecting the artist to the observant.  While maintaining the functionality of the object as integral to the final design, artists have created magnificent works for Jewish ritual practices.  Dealing in themes that express their love for the beauty and richness of the Jewish tradition, they interpret each Judaic object in their own personal style. Thus each object enhances a particular ceremony and the creative process of making beautiful Judaica is also part of that enhancement.  Paying a little more for a unique art work rather than a mass produced one, places the buyer in the middle of the hiddur mitzvah as well.  And today, there are many Judaica art pieces and artists’ works from which to choose.

Contemporary Judaica embraces the spirit of today's Judaism as a living religion.  We are proud of our Judaism and of our children.  We should pass down our traditions and rituals.  There is no better way to do this than to give them the perfect gift of the occasion, a gift of Judaica.

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