Blow the Shofar in Style with Beautifully Workshopped Filagree

Music Workshop
Blow the Shofar in Style with Beautifully Workshopped Filagree


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.


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.

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


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