Official hamsa class announcement!


Join Claire Sherman for a workshop on paper-cutting, fabric appliqué, and the folklore of hamsas. Sunday, April 23, 2:00 – 5:00 pm at the JCC East Bay, 1414 Walnut St, Berkeley, CA $36 Register at


A hamsa is a stylized hand for protection against the “evil eye,” frequently worn as jewelry. Made by both Jews and Muslims, hamsas are found all over the Middle East, but are older than either religion. Come learn about the folklore of hamsas and Jewish amulets, as we make them out of paper or fabric. (People of all religions, and atheists welcome). The basics of paper-cutting, a traditional Jewish folk art, will also be taught. Before Claire made appliqué quilts, she was an accomplished “paper cutter”. Learn paper cutting techniques to make stunning appliqués with fusible-web backed fabric. We will cut out our appliqués with scissors, and/or Exacto knives for accuracy, then iron them to a background. No artistic talent is required to make stunning hamsa designs. The finished paper-cut hamsa can be framed, to hang on the wall, and a fabric hamsa can become a wall hanging, challah cover, or part of a quilt.


Claire Sherman creates ceramic sculpture, quilts, and Jewish ritual objects out of clay, paper, and fabric. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, with a BFA in ceramics, she spent a year in Israel, where she learned about hamsas from other artists. She has taught art workshops in paper cutting, quilting, and Jewish ritual objects for adults and children throughout California. Visit her website at

This entry was posted in hamsa and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.