Trained as a painter, Elsa Wachs began working with fibers and threads in 1970. At that time, she developed her art
discipline of creating heirloom pieces such as family wedding canopies and prayer shawls personalized with memorabilia and photographs, and liturgical designs. She teaches and lectures in the United
States and abroad.
Elsa's work is used and enjoyed in
synagogues and private collections in 46 states, England, Canada, Israel, Chile, Australia and France and was taken into space on NASA's Space Shuttle Mission Discovery. She has
been an invited artist in many juried shows; artist-in-residence in a number of communities and logo artist for Women's League for Conservative Judaism. She has received the
American Jewish Congress Rosh Pinah Award for significant contributions in her field and the B'nai B'rith Community Service Award. She also won 'Most Outstanding Piece' at the
Museum of American Jewish History, Contemporary Artifacts. Elsa Wachs was commissioned by the Temple Judea Museum of Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park, PA to create a piece for their permanent collection.
Elsa also writes and publishes limited edition and one-of-a-kind books. She has been a Judaic consultant/ designer to the
giftware industry, producing such pieces as the 1999 Simcha dessert set for Lenox China.
Her innovations are being echoed by professional and folk artists nationwide: "The Tallit as Personal Art Form", "The
Chuppah as Family History and Heirloom", and "The Special Torah Mantle for Eastern European Holocaust Scrolls". These are hallmarks of her work.
Elsa pioneered the movement of creating new and unusual items from bits and pieces of a family's cache of sentimental
items. Through her artwork and her lectures and workshops she helps to build bridges between the generations.