Mizrach (2018)

This mizrach is a reproduction of an original work by my maternal great-great-grandfather, Yitzhak Reifman. The original was hand cut from shirt cardboard around the turn of the 20th century. Many of my family members have reproduced it in various forms over the years. I decided to continue this tradition using a distinctly early-21st century process: laser cutting. Though the technology (and level of effort required!) are quite different, I found it meaningful that the process — systematically cutting pieces out of a solid, flat material — is fundamentally unchanged.


To create this reproduction, I digitally traced a photograph of an old analog tracing from before the original was damaged. I created a vector outline from this tracing and sent it to Ponoko to be laser cut from bamboo plywood.

Original Mizrach
The 1975 tracing used to create the laser cut
Original Mizrach
The original piece after a 2014 restoration