A longstanding tradition of the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco, the invitational encourages artists of all backgrounds from all around the country to think afresh by creating original interpretations of traditional Jewish ritual objects using a variety of media. Hulett Jones was invited to provide an interpretation of a spice box (or besamim). The besamim is reconceived here as an organic form that is locked in place by a stainless steel frame. The organic form (in this case reminiscent of a Shofar) is too precarious to set down without its frame. The passing of the spice box, then, becomes more of an intimate experience as one is forced to hand it to the next person. The box itself serves as the lid to the vessel, locking in its aromas when not in use.


Glass object created in collaboration with Nikolas Weinstein Studios
Photography: Sherman Takata