Dreidel developments and reflection

Experimenting with size and scale. Reduced the scale by half using the illustrator file and lase cut again from MDF. Used a thinner piece, 3mm instead of 6mm as per last time, to fit with the smaller scale of the piece.



This size is very effective as a spinning top to be used by one person. The thinner MDF makes it lighter, and it spins for longer due to this – as the toy should. Again, as with the larger one, the rounded spinner works better than the triangular one in creating a prolonged spin. The small dreidel represents that I’m not ‘fully’ Jewish, only about 1/6th, and it’s not a huge part of my life, but that it still resonates with me and is relevant in my life. I would still be recognised as Jewish by the synagogue as its been passed down my mothers side, as well as (although more morbidly) by anti-Semitists and Hitler in the 1940s. Although I don’t think it’s a huge part of my life it is a factor which people use to discriminate, even now in the modern day. The small dreidel also relates back to the objects which Jews carried with them to the concentration camps. People packed suitcases of their most prized possessions, including religious objects and small toys for their children. The dreidel, being small and lightweight, was often one of these objects. As well as this,

“Legend has it that when the ancient Greeks outlawed the study of Torah, Jews would outsmart them by playing with a spinning top – a popular gambling device – while learning Torah orally.” – Rosenberg, A., 2014. Gyration Nation: The weird ancient history of the dreidel. [online] haaretz.com. Available at: <https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/.premium-gyration-nation-the-weird-ancient-history-of-the-dreidel-1.5344849> [Accessed 1 December 2021].

Its been an important design factor of the dreidel to be small, portable and easy to hide throughout history. I like that my dreidel keeps with this tradition and is small enough to be portable. Furthermore, with the pieces being slot together, it allows for the object to be disassembled and flat = more portable.


However, although the pieces all fit together very well, they don’t stay in place once slotted together. Could I create a way to fix them together without using glue? – keep the concept of portability? Or should I explore making the dreidel even smaller so that its pocket size and wouldn’t need to be disassembled? Lots of them are very small – about the size of a 50p coin. Nevertheless, I like having it slightly larger than this as it holds more of a presence as an object, making it more noticeable and representative of the significance it holds in Jewish culture.

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