We are delighted to invite you on a tour of the
studio space of Elsa Wachs.
In the Neighbors' section of The Philadelphia Inquirer,
April 7, 1995, Kay Raftery wrote of Elsa's studio:
"(Elsa) Wachs works from an office on the
ground floor of her home in Wallingford (PA) and in her bright windowed studio on the upper level of their spacious house.
Her office is neat and orderly--- books
carefully lined on shelves, her computer, equipped with a Hebrew word processor, on a small table with all of its disks and accoutrements carefully stored beneath it.
This is where she lays out her designs,
electronically scanning images from ancient texts into a computer database so she can manipulate them.
Her embroidery machine is connected to the computer. She also does thermography, the process of transferring photographs onto fabric.
Upstairs, the studio where she stitches
swatches of fabrics together was cluttered with piles of material-- cotton and satin and velvet--strewn everywhere. One wall was lined with spools of thread in vivid
colors. Beneath them was her sewing machine and a large table covered with woks in progress."
This description gives you an overview of her two productive and very busy workspaces. In addition, the sewing studio's closets
are brimming with an array of fabrics, trimmings, baubles and beads, all collected from around the world. Her electronic studio houses 2 printers which give her a great deal of flexibility. The
color printer has an oversized bed allowing her the luxury of large format paper, some beautifully exotic; and surprisingly enough, large pieces of her wonderful fabrics can be fed directly
into the printer ready for some wonderful color imagery to be applied.
Her tool box has so many 'newfangled' devices that she has put to creative use. One of these implements is a modem that
connects her to the internet and the cyberspace community. The exciting and fascinating phenomenon, the Information Super Highway the Internet, World Wide Web, etc.. that has come on
to the international scene brings with it an accellerated speed of communication, unique modes of working, a new vocabulary, and more. Scholars, and artisans from all corners of the world,
people from all walks of life and from varying levels of expertise have found their way to the multitude of electronic gathering places to exchange ideas, share techniques, and in general, rub
wire elbows with folks having the same interests. It was only natural that she tune into this cyberspace world where people discuss projects, search for new ideas and solve technical
A few years ago she was commissioned to design and execute a Torah mantel for a Torah that had been "a hidden child" in
Hungary. At that time she was subscribed to a Holocaust listserv on the Internet and posed a question to the rest of the subscribers: "Can you give her information on the
town of Kisvarda, Hungary?" E-mail responses and telephone calls came to her from around the world. As a result of this warm , spontaneous and instantaneous networking, that
synagogue committee was able to put together a reunion of survivors from Kisvarda at their Torah dedication. They were able to connect with the very Torah that had been so much a part of
their lives more than 50 years ago.
Her atelier always abounds with new projects, ideas, and imagery and without exception an exciting environment to work
in as well as visit.