shofar1

The shofar is an ancient instrument made from a ram’s horn, used in Jewish religious ceremonies. The video below shows not so much the process of making the instrument itself, but the process of making the decorative metal covering that goes on the top. The results of this process, seen above, are quite impressive, and should fit in nicely with the majestic sound one of these horns would make.

The process, also documented in this Polish website, starts out with melting tar onto a metal surface, which will become the decorative ring. This tar is formed with more tar on a piece of wood to make a solid block. Paper containing the initial pattern is then attached to the metal, and a long process of hammering, heating, polishing, and cutting is started. After much work, this results in something quite beautiful. Eventually, the metal is worked into a circular shape and attached to the horn using small nails.

shofar2

It definitely makes me think about what ancient people had to do to make useful and beautiful implements. Mass manufacturing has made things cheaper, and in many ways better, but the detail and craftsmanship required to make something like this by hand is really awe-inspiring.