Sacred Impressions: Unleashing Creativity in the House That Jack Built

Robert Zoch
February 16, 2023

When you enter the children’s chapel in Jack’s House you’ll find the pews are a bit lower, as is the ark holding the Torah scrolls, but the artistic expression on display aims much higher, evoking a bridge between Heaven and Earth. Reflecting the vision of Israeli designer Edward Jacobs and harnessing the talent of the world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, the exhibit pays tribute to the vestments worn by the high priest of the Biblical Temple in Jerusalem. “There is an incredible celebration of individuality that Judaism wants to impart particularly upon the children, but also there’s the critical complementary notion that the individual flourishes within the framework of community and communal responsibility,” says Jacobs.


Jack’s House is the recently-built children’s community center of the renowned Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, New York, which Jacobs designed as well. According to Jacobs, the standard to which this spiritual art installation would be held could be summed up by a single word: It had to be “perfect.”


“Rabbi Marc Schneier, leader of the community, managed to bring in one of the greatest living artists of our age to provide a singular installation for the sanctuary that you can see behind me,” says Jacobs, gesturing to a series of sculpted, colorful glass fiori, or flowers, refracting the copious sunlight illuminating the newly-built facility as he spoke. “In order to maintain the symbolism and theme of the symbolic garments that were worn by the High Priest in the Beit HaMikdash/Temple built by King Solomon over 3,000 years ago, we convinced Chihuly to also create the original designs for the various textile elements necessary in a synagogue. Specifically the ark curtain/parochet, as well as the coverings for the 3 Torah scrolls housed in the ark, and the cover for the table where the Torah is read from.” 



“We needed to find a way to reproduce Chihuly’s art, which he did on paper, on fabric,” he says. “And obviously we wanted to do that in the best way possible.”


In his estimation, the best way possible was to enlist the sustainable, on-demand, industry-leading capabilities of Kornit Digital’s Presto MAX system for single-step direct-to-fabric production, compatible with a great many high-quality fabrics and engineered to faithfully replicate even the most detailed subtleties of color and tone.


According to Jacobs, the message of Jewish community was given added resonance by Kornit’s position as an Israeli-based technological innovator—and the warm welcome he received upon visiting the company’s global headquarters in Rosh HaAyin to plan his project.


“Kornit was wonderful, and they do such wonderful things—and to be able to utilize this marriage of technology and fabrication in a sacred environment, the fact that it has a spiritual component, is fabulous,” he says. “We experimented with different fabrics, and the machines performed on almost everything, just flawlessly. It was really just a wonderful experience, top to bottom.”


While recognizing this is not a common application for Kornit’s eco-friendly print systems, Jacobs praised the technology’s versatility, noting he’d introduced many colleagues to its possibilities for a broad range of projects that may come along.


“We’re not doing a run of a million t-shirts or fabrics for a fashion brand, but it really didn’t matter, and we’ve also seen incredible examples of upholstery, fashion fabrics, draperies, and so much more,” he says. “This really shows the tremendous scope of projects Kornit can handle, and how wonderfully it all works. I mean, we’re doing a synagogue for children, and we have a major artist creating the artwork, and we really need to produce these several pieces perfectly—and now that we see what can be done, and the creative possibilities for other things we’re working on. We’re definitely going to work with this group again. Besides being a pleasure to work with, the level of professionalism is unmatched.” 


The most efficient, highly-automated system available for pigment-based roll-to-roll digital textile decoration, Kornit Presto MAX meets the highest quality standards for wash, light, and rub fastness, ideal for long-term exposure to the brilliant daylight and youthful community coming to Jack’s House. It is the only such system that allows for white spot printing on colored fabrics, and 3D premium decorative applications, including simulated embroidery and vinyl transfer effects. The technology is GOTS approved and Eco-Passport certified, delivering detailed impressions that are safe for apparel—including high fashion, streetwear, swimwear, sportswear, and more—accessories, home décor, and houses of worship. Output is swift, reliable, and consistent, regardless of the yardage involved. As paired with KornitX workflow applications, it empowers designers to fulfill their creative visions quickly and with minimal investment, while offering producers the perfect catalyst for an EcoFactory production model that streamlines the end-to-end experience, making localized, on-demand production profitable, scalable, and eco-friendly.


He credits Kornit’s Presto MAX with being able to meet the lofty expectations of the artist and the synagogue’s sacred themes.


“You can create depth and utilize fabrics that give you a whole different feeling than just a flat, two-dimensional surface, because of the subtlety and the accurate color registration—that really is art, just because of the quality they’re able to achieve,” he says. “Kornit is another great thing that Israel is bringing to the world, and that’s part of what we want to promote.”


For more information about Kornit Presto MAX and its capabilities for enabling never-before-seen creative possibilities on demand, contact Kornit Digital today.