21 March 2008

The 12 Tribes

This is the rather mammoth mixed media book that I started a while ago and have been very busy with of late.

It was photographed yesterday and shipped off to Artfest.

I can't even begin to tell you how complex it is.

Every element, colour, texture etc has a reason for being there

I made the entire book by hand, starting from the boards.

It took 2 days to bind and many trial efforts BUT after much angst it is complete.

The research probably took longer than making each element.

I will go into the finer details when I am back but wanted to give you a glimpse of it.

Be prepared there are alot of photos and so much colour!!!!!!!!!

Just briefly, there were 12 tribes of Israel in Biblical times.

They were the 12 sons of Jacob.

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher and Joseph.

Each tribe had their own coloured flag and emroidered on each flag was a symbol that represented the tribe.

Below is an image of the actual binding of the book

On the High Priests breastplate each tribe was alotted a different coloured precious stone, some that are today not in existance.
Some of you will wonder why it is that the stones I have used do not match the exact colour of the stones we recognise today.
There is much argument related to each stone and as we know, each stone comes in many a varied colour so please be aware that the colour I used was related to much research and in keeping with my interpretation of all the many factors that went into the long history of each tribe.

With that said, I hope you enjoy The 12 Tribes........


Symbol: The mandrake

Flag: Red

Stone: Ruby


Symbol: Town of Shechem

Stone: Topaz

Flag: green


Stone: Smaragd

Flag: a third white, a third black, and a third red

Symbol: the Urim and Thummim

The High Priest's (the Chief of the Chief of Rabbi's) breastplate


Stone: carbuncle
Flag: The heavens

Symbol: Lion


Stone: Sapphire

Flag: black like stibium

Symbol: Sun and moon


Stone: Pearl

Symbol: ship


Stone: Jacinth

Flag: sapphire

Symbol: serpent


Stone: Agate
Flag: Neither white nor black
but a blend of black and white

Symbol: A camp


Stone: Amethyst
Flag : Wine of a not very deep red
Symbol: A hind


Stone: Beryl

Remember the story/post where i told you about finding a book
called Treasures of the Earth?

Well this is where it was that amazing coincidence that spoke of the stones of the 12 Tribes.

Flag: Like Sandstone

Symbol: olive-tree


Stone: Onyx

Flag: Black

Symbol: Egypt and sons, the princes, Ephraim and Manasseh

Flag of Ephraim: A bullock

Flag of Manasseh: A Wild ox -

 The type mentioned biblically is not in existance any more.


Flag: Combination of all the 12 colours

Symbol: Wolf

(This is where the parchment came in)

Stone: Jasper

Hope you enjoyed all of that!!!

Thanks for all the comments on "Esh".

I am so so sorry that I have not been able to thank each and every one of you for your amazing comments - I promise I will soon - (feeling oh-so guilty) but please understand that I am

getting ready to leave and have 3 kids that need my attention too.

Thanks and cya soon.


Redness said...

Flummoxed ... I search for words to commend you - insufficient come! You're amazing ... twenty trillion times over! Don't dare apologise ever again when you share such mammoth creativity!
Travel safe, have the very best time of your life, you deserve more accolades than this small comment can express. Huge Hugs to you Judy.OxOxO.

Teresa said...

Another amazing project - thank you for sharing it with us. Safe trip and enjoy your precious time with Michael.

Adrienne said...

Absolutely amazing to see one of the most important books in history brought to life!

artsyfran said...

I am speechless. Your work is amazing. I can only imagine what it would be like to be so engaged in a project like this. You are doing such important work, and I know you already know this. Thank you so much for taking time to share your work and spread your knowledge and our history! Travel safely!
Fran xoxo

azirca said...

Gosh Judy, this is stunning, what an amazing book.
I wish you a safe and wonderful trip.

Anonymous said...

Just keep working,don't worry about thanking each and every one. This is so beautiful. Just when I think your work can't get any better there you go. This is amazing. Wonderful. Thank you for sharing. It takes so much time for you to share, telling the story and whys.The pictures are grand. Thank you so much.
Nancy Armstrong

Judy Wise said...

Dont you dare answer this. Just accept another compliment; this newest book is incredible. The detail is beyond belief and where do you find such glorious little goodies? I think the universe is helping you along each step of the way. Safe travel. Be very happy. xoxo

jo said...

Oh, woooooooowwwwwwwwww! This is looking so cool! The colour and the detail and the texture and the symbolism and I could go on and on!! And it is massive, just handling it to do the binding must have been difficult, let alone the logistic in the actual binding! I am once again awe struck Judy.
Have an awesome time in USA, can't wait to hear all about it when you get back.
Love Jo xoxo
P.S. I am also blown away by how much work goes in to your blog! Just loading the photos in to the right sequence is a task! Thankyou so much for all the time and effort you put in to sharing your work with us.

Karen Cole said...

Dear me woman,

No wonder you don't sleep!!

This is one amazing creation. Do you tire of this compliment? I think not. You just keep going and going.....in all of the right places.

I feel that the places we may go looking for all of your fantastic elements may not be worthy.

So....not knowing as much as I should about this...My maiden name is Shechtman....so am I from the tribe of Simeon? Don't worry, I don't need to know now.

Happy travels, my friend. Save some room in that suitcase.

Izabella~ said...

oh my goodness!! amazing!! again I am lost for words!!

xo!! ~Bella

Sam Marshall said...

Judy- You are AMAZING. This piece is absolutely inredible. Every part is so beautiful. Have a wonderful time at Artfest. I'm going back for another look!

Ro Bruhn said...

WOW doesn't even begin to describe this epic, you told be it was your biggest book ever, even I didn't imagine it was this big. So glad to see you're moving into the world of colour, if only briefly, see you can do it. Once again just fabulous, love ALL the detail. Have a wonderful time in the US and take care

Janine said...

Well, what else can I say! Wow just doesn't even touch on the amazing work you keep producing.... Love, love, love it!!! Enjoy your pending trip! xoxo

Night Owl Designs said...

Holy cow Judy, your book is fabulous! Congrats.

Julie H said...

Never feel guilty, a visit here is a gift in itself Judy. Thank you, again.

Nia said...

This is absolutely amazing, I'm so glad I chanced upon your page. The work that has gone into this is phenomenal.
You have great talent!

Cassondra W. said...

Works of art! Amazing! I hope to see them at Artfest, I imagine that they are even more incredible in person! Can you post where we might be able to see it when we are there?

Deryn Mentock said...

Incredible work Judy. As a Christian, your work has great meaning to me as well. Stunning!

marcie said...

Speechless. That you have taken on such an enormous subject matter..and created art. I really don't know what to say. I stumbled upon your site..and am totally blown away by your work.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

deMeng said...

amazing bebe,
I'm not just saying this but you are quite an insightful, mystical, and caring artist.
can't wait to see it in person.


Lynn said...

Your work simply boggles my mind. You are incrediable Judy. Amazing. Awesome, an artist of integrity beyond words. Wow! I will come back and pour over these pages with a closer eye as time allows.

You do all this and parent three kids? When? How? Oy!


Steph said...

Ok ... once again I'm speechless ... what can I say except WOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwww !

shelley in the big sky said...

absolutly perfect....your detail is impecable. your talent is incredible. enjoy your trip and if you get a chance when your MT...contact me and maybe we can connect...play well...

R2artstudio said...

What an amazing book. So many details I would love to understand much more. How you can create so much meaningful and beautiful work in a relatively short time, still amazes me. Thank you for sharing, and have a wonderful trip!

kelsey said...

It's been a couple of weeks since I visited your blog and once again, I'm blown away by this wonderfully insightful book! A visit here is always such a visual feast Judy and I thankyou for the considerable time that goes into both your wonderful work....AND the blog! ;-)

Jen Crossley said...

unbelievable Judy your amazing what a wonderful piece of history you have created.Enjoy your trip Ro and I will miss you

Still Waters Studio said...

I have always loved your work, but I was moved to tears when I saw this one! I will come back several times to drink in the detail. It is so amazing how you captured each one. My favorite thing is the crossed hands for when Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh. The book is so intricate. I wish I could see it in person and turn the pages.

thealteredpage said...

Glorious, monumental, moving, extraordinary, captivating, special...words really cannot capture what it is that you capture in your art.

Dale said...

i don't even know what to say here on this comment... i am completely speechless. Your work is simply stunning! The intricate detail is absolutely amazing. This is such inspiring work. Where on earth do you find such wonderful supplies? The stones, the.... everything! Awesome awesome work :)

I just stumbled upon your blog linking from Michael deMeng's blog, and i will definately be comming back :)

Louisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carmen said...

Wow! What an amazing project.

Susan Tuttle said...

Hi Judy,
Spectacular beyond words - the thickness of the book is so appealing - magical.

Have a glorious trip!


Louisa said...

Judy we are so blessed to have artisans like yourself to teach and impart wisdom in such as beautiful and eloquant manner. These depth of your work in meaning and visually is priceless. Thank you for sharing your vision with us.

Kathryn and Joy said...

Love the book!! Wish I was going to Artfest just to see it in person. I especially like Reuven, my dream body...ha-ha.
Safe travels and see you soon.
xo Joy

Cheralyn said...

As always Judy, mindblowingly amazing... you are the most inspiring artist in every way imaginable. What a rich, emotionally charged and at the same time, important & educational work this is... and as always, just beautiful... happy and safe journey!... Cheralyn xx

Audrey said...

I'm speechless Judy. You are an amazing artist.

vivian said...

i can't even find any words to describe what i feel or think when looking at your art pieces, other than just really wanting to see them in real.just beautiful girl. ;)

Gillian :O) said...

oh Judy....

like everyone else I'm in awe of your amazing art, it's Art at it's Purest, so beautiful to know that each piece is carefully thought about and placed, You inspire so many with your Precious Gift and I'm so pleased we can get a glimps of your offerings, Thankyou so much for sharing and inspiring
Bless You!

Kim Logan said...

A wonderful piece of work you have created, its richness and intricate detail is beautiful.have a lovely time at Artfest.

Audrey said...

What an absolutely stunning piece of art. I'm blown away by it, its truly amazing. On a conceptual level alone it is incredible, but to make the concept into such a beautiful reality is something else. Thank you so much for sharing.

lindaharre said...

Judy, Judy, Judy......your attention to detail boggles the mind:D I am in awe!!!!!!!!! This book is gorgeous, but that word is not sufficient to explain how I feel about it. Your dedication to your artwork is something I have never experienced and I am envious of your desire to tell your story.....This is so spectacular and filled with love that it brings a tear to my eye:D Fabulous girl!!!!!!

lindaharre said...

Have you ever considered having a text book made of your photographs....wow, what a teaching device this would be? Your books need to be published in their entirety! If you are interested you might contact "Lark Books":D hugs, Linda

paris parfait said...

Judy, you have the most astonishing vision and talent - truly magnificent work! Thank you for sharing it here. Enjoy every minute of your trip. xo

Lynn said...

Judy I have returned here to tell you there ar photos of a quilt on my blog you might appreciate. It's the work of a friend of mine, Diane Jacobs Moore and it is called Six of Six Million. I'll let the photos and words tell you the rest.

Thank you for continuing your art work from this period in our history. It means so much.

Sue said...

Hi Judy, you've been nominated for an award, come and look, you deserve it.

laurel said...

What a beautiful and wonderous work of art!

identityseven said...

judy! it was so fantastic to meet you in person at Artfest (in Susan's class)!!! I remember know why you looked so familiar ... I say you over on Ruth's blog just before heading out and your face just stuck with me :) Your 12 Tribes book is amazing in person ... thank you so much for sharing it with us! I really look forward to getting to know you better!


stephanie t. said...

Dear Dear Girl,
I was fortunate to have seen this masterpiece up close at ArtFest. Haunting. Achingly beautiful. I have no doubt the whispering spirits of our people surrounded you with light as you crafted this piece. I have no words...just overwhelming, powerful feelings.

My cousin Marc, was married to Renee Golabek until her death in 2002. The link is too hard for me to post. Please 'Google' her name to read the story...you will understand.

Your art. Her music. It is the core of our being. Lift your head girl. Be proud.

Doris A said...

It was an honor to view the Twelve Tribes at ArtFest and to hear your passion and details of this incredible piece is a priviledge I cherish. Thank you for sharing this remarkable piece with us.

Anonymous said...

Wow and ouch! A more humbling art cannot be had, thanks for your dedication to make sure we never forget! Thanks for causing us to pause and reflect..you're wonderful!

Loudlife said...

This is a little frivolous after this amazing, monumental, and breathtaking entry, but...when I was asked whose blogs and art I find inspirational I had to put you on the list. Swing by my blog...



Did I mention that this is breathtaking??? It's only a matter of time before museums aren't breaking down your door. We're so lucky that you share your beautiful and important work with us.
(I swear, I'm not sycophantic in real life!)

Barbara said...

I just stumbled upon your book because I love altered art and your topic is of great interest to me. Little did I realize that this sort of intense work was hiding inside the covers of this book- thanks for blogging (what did we do before it to share our work!) and I hope you post anything you can about the symbols you've created. This belongs in the Tele Aviv art museum, NOTHING less!!

Sue McGettigan said...

Judy as always your work is fascinating and wonderful to see. You're so generous with your work - sharing details and the inspiration behind each piece - thank you! I'll be returning to look this book over again, it's like a siren call :)

gina armfield said...

your work is so heartfelt it is beyond words - giving me chills when I look at the photos I can only imagine holding it in my hands would drive me to immediate tears. I was at artfest but didn't get to meet you my dear friend Judi Delgado did and was very taken by your presence. I hope you had a wonderful time there. warmly, gina

gaby said...

Another stunning work you do. Because of your creativity and the way you share your stunning work with other Bloggers I've nominated you for the Arte y Pico Award. Please, go to my page and pick up your Award.

sue pieper said...

It's been too long since I've been here! Having spent the last 1/2 hour looking, awestruck as usual, at your books. You are a special soul with an amazing talent. Now to go back & REALLY look again-this could take all day:)

Pherenike said...

Let me be the 57th person to say: WOW!

Debbi Baker said...

Well words fail me and that is a first!! Totally stunning - all those details...

Leslie said...

And I'll be the 59th person to say Wow! I know I saw this earlier, but apparently I didn't comment. Must have known I'd be back for another look! It's truly amazing!

belle2create said...

Hi Judy
what a BEAUTIFULL STUNNING MEANINGFULL book you made. (please don't feel guilty about not answering to all your commentors, we ENJOY your art, REALLY!!) Thanks for sharing this art work,

Jamie said...

Judy, we had a chance meeting outside of Michael's Thursday class at ArtFest. I had no idea at the time that you were the creator of this powerful book. I hope we meet again one day and I have the good fortune of seeing this piece in person.

Debbie said...

Totally blown away. Truly a piece of art with a voice that speaks to all of us.

Each image is amazing.. the binding with all the tribes is priceless, as is all the Torah text. Someday, if you choose, I would love to know how you sourced that out.

Bohemian said...

Your work has left me in awe... I can't even find the words to describe it... such beauty, detail and important stories coming to life... Such inspiration and amazing talent, thank you so much for sharing your work and each story. God Bless you.

Dawn... The Bohemian

Glenda said...

Wow, this is the first time I have visited your blog, I will be adding you to mine.
The Twelve Tribes of Israel is just magnificent. I have thought of doing something like this but never ever seem to find the time.
Judy, its magnificent and I would love to see it sometime in real life if you ever bring it to Melbourne

Jenny said...

WOW... my first time here too... oh my gosh Judy... this is STUNNING... incredibly gorgeous work... I am in awe...

Jenny ♥