"When I was seeking a one-of-a-kind gift as a tribute to our beloved rabbi and teacher, a web search led me, as if by magic, to an inspired Judaic fabric artist 3,000 miles from my home. I left Diane Fredgant a voicemail message, and she returned my call immediately.
Diane listened intently, with full presence, as I explained to her that our rabbi’s Yom Kippur sermon—in the form of a mystical story—had taken us on a sacred journey filled with powerful symbolic imagery. Would Diane be able to create a mystical silk wall hanging that would capture the essence of our rabbi’s story?
Within minutes, I knew from our initial conversation that Diane was just the person to create a treasured work of art that would speak to our rabbi’s heart, mind, and soul. I sent her a copy of the sermon and commissioned her to go forward with the project. No, I didn’t need to see a sketch or a preview of any kind, as I trusted Diane and had no doubt that she would be guided by her own spirituality, imagination, and intuition.
Diane’s radiant silk wall hanging far exceeded my expectations. In fact, it blew me away, so completely did the “choreography” mirror all elements of our rabbi’s story. Beholding it for the first time was truly a Shehecheyanu moment.
Diane and I have become good friends. We talk with one another often by phone, and I hope to meet her panim el panim before too long. Ken y’hi ratzon."
-Sheila Rosalyn Deitchman (2016)
"Approaching my 40th birthday, I wanted to mark the occasion in a special way. I decided to purchase a new tallit but nothing I found satisfied me. When a friend told me about the work of Diane Fredgant, I contacted her to discuss having one commissioned.
Diane’s unique ability to draw out my ideas and understand my needs made the process so easy. Her intuition and creative energy resulted in a wonderfully beautiful, heirloom quality, tallit Each time I wrap myself in my tallit I feel a renewed sense of purpose and blessing.
Thank you, Diane, for sharing your wonderful talents with others."
"It is hard to put into words how thankful I am to Diane for every part of the process we shared in the creation of my daughter, Zivi's, tallis. Our experience from start to finish was imbued with meaning and love.
Diane approaches all of her work with the gifts that make her the precious person that she is: A talented artist whose art is an expression of her deep spirituality and wisdom. Diane has a special ability to really connect with and honor the unique qualities of others, balanced by a great sense of humor and play. This enables her to really get to know the person for whom she is designing a piece, so that the final piece is a true expression of who they are and what is meaningful to them.
Diane worked with Zivi to decide upon an image that was meaningful to her. She took time to really connect with Zivi and help her make all the choices necessary in the planning of the tallis. Diane's inspired and radiant artistic work, and her attention to detail, is evident in every inch of the finished product: the glowing painting, the high quality of the silk and cotton, and all the stitching that went into creating the final piece. It is a beautiful piece of art which will be cherished, hopefully for generations to come. It wraps Zivi in the memory and meaning of becoming a Bat Mitzvah, and of all those who shared that special day with her.
The most memorable part of working with Diane was the ceremony she designed and facilitated for the tying of the Tzit Tzit. This gave every person important in Zivi's life a private opportunity to share something from their heart in words, and also to put a bit of themselves, and their prayers for Zivi into the tallis while tying the Tzit Tzit. Whatever path Zivi takes in the future, and whether or not Judaism is central to it, I know that the memory of sitting with those who love her, as they spoke to her from their hearts and contributed to the creation of this prayer shawl is something she will carry with her forever."
"I asked Diane to make a very special tallis as part of my celebrating a book I co-authored, Language of Life: Answers to Modern Crises in an Ancient Way of Speaking, in a Shabbat service on the 40th anniversary of my Bar Mitzvah. The tallis is a representation of the Ancient Hebrew letter-numbers emerging from the Cosmos where every letter-number is an energetic expression of a life-process — either a Cosmological force, an Archetypal nurturing, or an Existential experience. Wearing the tallis is a spiritual experience putting me in touch with life that’s full of awe, amazement, and deep appreciation."
"Diane made my daughter a beautiful, custom tallis for her Bat Mitzvah. My daughter gave Diane an idea to include wisteria flowers on her tallis. Diane turned the idea into a true work of art. My daughter loves the tallis and will treasure it always."
"Two years ago Diane designed a tallit for my youngest son. We were lucky enough to have fabric from my great-grandfather's silk mill and she did a wonderful job incorporating it into the tallit. I loved her work so much that when my mom offered me a tallit for my birthday I knew I wanted to have Diane do it. Diane listened to what I wanted and developed something beautiful and special."
"For many years, I admired the silk work that Diane does. As the years went by, more and more members of our congregation had ones made for them, particularly the bnai mitzvot kids. I was finally able to work with her to design one that spoke to me and my love both of Atz Hay-yim, the Tree of Life, and the environment I live near in the Pacific NW. The results were superb! The mountains that we live between and the tree are as alive on my body as they are when my feet take me there. I had worn a silk tallis before but it wasn’t lined so I was surprised at the weight of my new tallis. I quickly adapted to it and the only thing I wonder about is why I waited so long!"
"I bought several beautiful challah covers from Diane, one for each of my daughters to use in their homes one day, and then I noticed her tallis options…I was mesmerized. What she had available was beautiful but I wanted slightly different colors. I chatted with Diane and we came up with just what I was hoping for. We live far away from one another so over the next few months Diane completed my tallis and when it arrived I found that it was even more beautiful than I expected. I feel not only wrapped in love when I wear it, but wrapped in beauty. I have never owned a tallis before and I will treasure this one. Thank you Diane."