American Artists I collect (and you should too)

When I started collecting mezuzahs, I assumed that the highest quality mezuzah cases were made by graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem. The only American made mezuzahs I focused on where made by people associated with the Tobe Pascher Workshop at the Jewish Museum in New York (Ludwig Wolpert left Bezalel and moved to New York in 1956 to work at the Jewish Museum). Over the years, I have discovered a number of American artists who have changed my thinking. These artists are making some of the best, highest quality mezuzah cases available in the market today for a fraction of the cost of the “Bezalel Grads”.

If you are not yet familiar with Frann Addison, Sherri Cohen, Aimee Golant, Rhonda Kap, Ruth Shapiro, Lisa Slovis, Anika Smulovitz and Joy Stember then you should make it a priority to get to know them and their works. I am a big fan of these artists and I own their works.

Get to know them. For more information on each artist, please refer to the artist directory.

All of these artists are active, so the good news is that you can call them and work with them. Try it, it’s a lot of fun.

Frann Addison (Boston, MA) is a highly acclaimed artist who creates unique, handmade, works of judaic art. Her work is terrific and some pieces are made with found objects. Prices for mezuzah cases are around $200. You can contact and work directly with Frann. Her website is FrannAddisonjudaica.com

Sherri Cohen lives in Kingston, New York and is an experienced metal artists who works primarily in copper. Her work is unique and distinctive and as you can see in the photos has an outdoor feel. I own two of her mezuzahs. Prices for her mezuzah cases are around $200. She sells directly at sherricohendesign.com.

Aimee Golant is an accomplished and highly recognized metal artist who lives in San Francisco. Her work evokes a deep sense of spirituality. She works in all metals including pewter, bronze and sterling silver. Prices start at about $100 . A few more expensive mezuzahs made for special events and charitable organizations. I own two of her mezuzah cases. She can be found at aimeegolant.com

Rhonda Kap lives in Southern California and has been creating Judaic metal art work for over 40 years. She lives in the country surrounded by nature and her works reflects the beauty around her. She made two pieces for me out of bronze and copper. Prices are around $200. You can find her at www.rhondakap.com

Ruth Shapiro lives in Southern California and makes bronze mezuzah cases using the lost wax technique as well as other techniques. Her work is wonderful. I own two of her mezuzah cases one of which is a unique commissioned work. You can buy her work on her Etsy store (Ruth Shapiro on www.etsy.com) and look for her on Instagram and Pinterest.

Lisa Slovis lives, works and teaches metal arts in San Diego and works primarily in Pewter. I consider her to be American Pewter master (she wrote a book on Pewter). I have two mezuzahs from a series of five that she made and am looking for the other three (the three on the right). I see movement in Lisa’s works which reminds me of the movement in Canadian First Nation artist sculptures.

Anika Smulovitz lives, works and teaches in Boise, ID. Her work is special and I will let it speak for itself. I own one of her mezuzah cases and have reserved two more. Prices start at $360. She can be reached at www.anikasmulovitz.com. If you have to skip your morning Starbucks for a while to buy a mezuzah from Anika, then do it. You won’t regret your decision.

Joy Stember is an an acclaimed metal artist who lives in Philadelphia, PA. Joy has developed a distinctive 3D style for her mezuzah cases that allows you to recognize her works from across the room. I lover her work and had fun designing my first piece on her website. In addition to being beautiful works of art, her mezuzah cases are affordable and starts at around $75.

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