Author Archives: Melody Amsel-Arieli

A Spin on Dreydls

What child hasn’t spun around like a top, arms extended, then fallen to the ground in delightful dizziness? Who hasn’t watched, mesmerized, as a pebble spins down a riverbank, or an acorn tumbles to the ground, spinning on its axis before rolling to a stop?

Venetian masks

Throughout the ages, masks have starred in Greek drama, sent men roaring down the warpath, summoned otherworldly spirits, and figured in initiation, healing, and funereal rites. Masks have also masked a multiplicity of duplicity.

Stanglware … still delightful

The Stangl Pottery Company began as Hill Pottery in 1814, producing utilitarian pipes, jars, and crocks from Flemington's porous red clay. When Fulper acquired Hill Pottery decades later, in addition to low-kiln earthenware, he now added stoneware, which is well suited for use as tableware.

Zuni inlay art jewelry

Each August, Gallup, N.M., located in the heart of Native American lands, hosts the annual Inter-Tribal Ceremonial. Native Americans gather from far and wide for festive parades, traditional pow-wows, and of course, socializing.

Lapel pride – emblem pins

Lone socks make my ragbag swell, stray buttons eventually find their way into button jars, and clipped recipes clog my kitchen drawers. Somewhere along the way, my jewelry box filled up with a handful of assorted emblem pins.

Pie Birds

Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, begins a well known 18th century nursery rhyme, four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.  But is this just a rhyme?

Inuit Arts and Crafts

Reaching midlife, my father bought a Winnebago motor home, packed up the family and the poodle, and followed his dream to the far reaches of Alaska. Nothing in the world could dampen his enthusiasm, not even when the "Winne's" brakes gave way