When I look at a rock, I see a rock. Anat Perl, the designer of Blessing Stones can look at a rock and see the creation within. In her mind’s eye, she imagines the form that will emerge, and in so doing she brings the essence of her vision to life. Anat is an artist in varied media.
In 2014 she began her project called Blessing Stones. Take a slab of stone, shape it and nestle a glass enclosed mezuza in a carved niche. On top of that, use gold or silver plated metal, to rest over the mezuza, to protect it. The shape of the metal can be the Star of David, a harp, or other Judaic or personal symbol. Imagine 14 different shapes of the Star of David and still counting! Each mezuza goes through 27 stages till completion. The very idea of the design is innovative, and the combination of materials like stone with gold, concrete combining gold and silver , and Anat’s very personal design for traditional symbols makes Blessing Stones unique in the global market. Some of the mezuzahs are quite large and are placed on special stands, showcasing
the original stone transformed into a spiritual holy object.
Speaking to Anat about her Blessing Stones, I am able to feel the intensity of the work that goes into crafting each piece. She articulates the mystery of starting with a shapeless stone, where nothing is clear as to its final structure- will it be smooth or rough, shining or opaque, round or straight edged? What mixture of materials will add the perfect combination to the finished Blessing Stone? Colors, textures, and Anat’s desire to raise her work to a spiritual level of holiness informs and forms the Blessing Stones.
Anat describes her artistic journey beginning at a young age. She is a dancer, and plays piano, guitar and drums. Both in Kenya and Cuba, where she studied drumming, the beat that pulses through her, is the evident energy in her approach to life, She sees lighting fixtures, furniture and fashion design in her future. What impresses me most about our conversation is the care she takes to explain about the Klaf- the parchment – that can be seen through the blown glass holder. She says that a kosher parchment should be rolled with the words hidden. What we see when looking at her creation is a Mezuza with a facsimile of a real Klaf so that one can envision the blessings which will be present in its new home.
You can see Blessing Stones on our Market at www.achi613.org. Meet you there soon!