Category Archives: judaica

Go fish

We like fish here at Three Stone Steps.  We like them just about as much as we like our recycled metal roosters.

In fact, we carry so many recycled metal fish that we have a special wholesale line sheet for them.  If you’re interested, you can find that here.   For retail sales, either check out this link, or get in touch.  If you’re in the Baltimore or DC-area, you can find us live somewhere most weekends, and almost always at the Baltimore Farmers Market & Bazaar under the JFX on Sunday mornings.

fish with marble eye

I must admit that the recycled marble eye is much more striking in person.  This piece is made by the fabulous, visionary Jacques Eugene, who I’ve written about here.

right and left looking recycled metal fish

fish duo(Definitely not show to scale!  Each of those round fish is about the same size as the fish duo, but I tend to like to shoot the fish in their little schools.)

These are made by the wonderful Evenson.who also makes our great recycled metal menorahs and other recycled Judaica including hamsas.

There’s more, including recycled metal fish earrings, a recycled metal fish cross, and even a starfish trivet (I’m not sure if starfish count?), but will save them for another post.



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Filed under artisans, earrings, fair trade, judaica, recycled

People behind the products: Philippines Edition

Here at Three Stone Steps we’re about to get an early–and not a tiny– shipment of our famously amazing recycled dreidels to send out some retailers.

I’m told I talk about my dreidels incessantly but I find them sort of amazing.  I think it might be because they were the first really different product I worked on before branching out to recycled Judaica made in Haiti.  You can see the dreidels below.  (I never tire of showing them off.  Ever. )

recycled dreidels

They’re made by a collective of mothers in a very depressed area of a barangay (sort of a neighborhood unit) in Quezon City, which is a part of Metro Manila in the Philippines.  Before I worked with this collective of women to make dreidels, they were making great ornaments out of recycled paper.  I’ve carried these for a few years, will do so again this holiday season, and they’re wonderful.  A sample of our new color combination is right here:

large and small recycled paper ornament

And, here’s a few of the women who made these great holiday creations:

paper bead making

making recycled paper beads while tending to children

And, finally, this is Venus.  I see her all the time since she’s on the hangtags for both the recycled ornaments and the dreidels:

Venus making recycled paper beads

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Filed under Christmas, fair trade, hanukkah, judaica, manila, ornaments, recycled, women

Friday Photo: Think cool thoughts

Like (almost) everyone else, I’m trying to keep cool.   And, while I’m definitely not a Christmas in July type–except for the fact that I’m in the midst of wholesaling Three Stone Steps’  line of recycled ornaments, trees, dreidels, and menorahs now– I thought a photo of a very cool, blue ornament wouldn’t be such a bad idea for a Friday Photo.

And, while global warming is pretty much at the top of a lot of people’s mind,  you should know that this papier-mâché ornament is made by hand from recycled cement bags outdoors in Jacmel, Haiti (where it’s actually cooler than it is here in Baltimore) by a mother and daughter team, so besides the shipping, there’s really no carbon footprint. And, should you not care for this cool blue, other colors and styles are available.

Happy (hot) Friday.

Papier-mâché ornament with flower

Blue and cool.


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Filed under Baltimore, Christmas, environment, fair trade, friday photo, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, new products, ornaments, recycled, recycling, sustainable

Friday Photo: A metal art artist

Meet Evenson.  He’s a maker of recycled metal art in Haiti.  I met him during my first trip to Haiti in 2008–and I’m not so sure how this happened–I count on him tons.

He makes all of Three Stone Steps’ menorahs (you can see him holding last year’s design in the photo) and the hamsas and the earrings along with assorted other pieces.

recycled menorah maker

yes, it’s as beautiful as it looks!

Have a great weekend, whatever you’re working on.


Filed under eco-fashion, fair trade, friday photo, Haiti, judaica, recycled

Friday Photo: Recycled Judaica (it’s not just for Hanukkah)

Yes, it’s June.  And, if you’re on the Eastern seaboard, it’s really hot.  But for retailers and wholesalers like us here at Three Stone Steps,  Hanukkah and Christmas are right around the corner.  And, if you’re a retailer trying to put together a fair trade, recycled holiday collection, this link would be a good place to start. (You’ll find fabulous recycled ornaments, recycled dreidels, and recycled menorahs, and more.)  If you want to know more, please contact me at ellen[at]threestonesteps[dot]come.

But, let’s say that like most of us, you’re not a retailer, but would like to find some recycled, fair trade Judaica.  You need a Bar or Bat Mitzvah or wedding gift, and don’t know what will fit the bill.  Well, then, check this out:

Haitian metal art, shalom

read from right to left, silly!

You can find more information of this great piece of indoor/outdoor art on the Three Stone Steps site right here.  And, if you’re not in the market for recycled, fair trade Judaica, you can find other great recycled art here.

Really cute, huh?

And, have a great PEACEful weekend!

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Filed under fair trade, friday photo, friday photo, Haiti, hanukkah, holiday shopping, judaica, metal art, peace, recycled, recycling

Inclusive is our middle name: we have crosses

Here at Three Stone Steps we have a deeply ingrained sense of fairness.  A few years ago we carried these fantastic recycled ornaments from the Philippines (we’ll have them again this year) and the next year I thought, hey that’s not fair, not everyone celebrates Christmas, and worked with the women’s collective that produce the ornaments on creating fabulous recycled dreidels.  (They also will definitely be available again this year.)  One year, we made up these red, black, green Kwanzaa ornaments only to learn that people don’t really buy ornaments for Kwanzaa, but that’s another story.

When I first went to Haiti in 2008, I bought crosses to sell.   And, that silly fairness thing cropped up again, and I thought that not everyone is from a cross tradition, so had one of the artists I work with make a hamsa/hand of Fatima.  (There will be an entire blog post about this amazing symbol some time soon.)  I then created a line of Judiaca that I just wrote about this week and you can see more of  here.  And, I love my beautiful recycled metal Judaica from Haiti so so so much that I forget to blog about my crosses.

I’ve fixed that now.  Crosses below:


small star cross

if crosses can be hip, this one is

This cross is fairly small, and measures 3″ x 4.5″.

The next three crosses are still on the small side, but larger than the one above.  They measure 5.5″ x 7″.

cross with fish

fish in cross

peace cross

we all need a little peace

cross with birds

lovely bird-y cross


Oh, and these are incredibly affordable.  And, to insert my very own boilerplate language:  they’ll be up on the site soon.  If you want one now, just get in touch.

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Filed under Christmas, fair trade, Haiti, hanukkah, judaica, metal art, ornaments, peace, recycled, sustainable

This year’s recycled Judaica from Haiti

I really like all of my products in the way that one can really like inanimate things.  Ok,  actually I  adore the products I carry, and wouldn’t dream of selling anything that I didn’t want to own myself.   And, although it’s not fair,  I have to admit to loving–the way you just don’t just like but love inanimate objects like your car or your backpack or the trusty canopy you set up at a festival–the Judaica I have made in Haiti.  No doubt a big part of it is the process by which it’s made, with lots of context, and questions, and cross-cultural sharing.  The other part of it is that if I were in the market for a gift for a Jewish wedding, or a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, my recycled metal Judaica from Haiti is exactly the kind of product I’d give.  (Yes.  I am probably biased.)

With that intro paragraph out of the way, I was just packing up a wholesale order of my amazing recycled Judaica and realized that I hadn’t quite shown it off.  I’ll fix that right now.

recycled menorah with flowers

perfect gift

This year’s menorah is smaller and less expensive than last year’s, but no less lovely.  It’s also in the original metal color below.

menorah with flowers in the original metal

another great gift

We’ve also branched out into wall art, for use inside and out, and with the only Hebrew word that I can read.  (There’s an English version, too.)

shalom piece

a bit of a challenge to have made, but still fun

Same thought, but in English:

Shalom piece

thought's the same

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Filed under fair trade, Haiti, judaica, metal art