Introduction: Matzah Portraits

Shalom! It's Passover season again, and that means MATZAH.

Matzah is a dry cracker traditionally consumed by jews during Passover in lieu of real bread. In the Jewish faith matzah represents a time when Jews were in a hurry to get out of town to escape an Egyptian pharaoh and didn't have time to bake real bread. I'm only Jew-ish so to me it represents a food that must be smothered with apple sauce in order to be edible. It is not gluten free, or vegan, but that is not the only reason you haven't seen it at your local coffee shop or bakery.

For passover this year I decided to laser cut portraits of some famous Jews into Matzah. Think Grilled Cheesus but way more Jewish.

UPDATE:

As a reminder to not "Passover Bernie Sanders in the upcoming primaries" my friend Trevor cut the above portrait.

Step 1: Collect Images

I generated a list of famous Jews with a few friends and headed to google collect images for the project.

The best photos for laser engraving are high contrast with white backgrounds. In the case of portraits it is good if the images have white backgrounds.

Here is the final list:

Adam Sandler, Alan Greenspan, Albert Einstein, Anne Frank, Annie Leibovitz, Barbra Streisand, Golda Meir, Jon Stewart, Leonard Nimoy, Sarah Silverman, Natalie Portman, Woody Allen

*This list does not necessarily reflect the importance of these people in relation to each other or any other Jewish figures but rather is a representation of my knowledge of history and pop culture.

** Someone please make a matzah portrait Jerry Seinfeld. I can't believe I forgot about him.

Step 2: Edit

In order for the images to show up well on the Matzah I first converted the photos to black and white and increased the contrast by about 50%. I have attached the file I used for laser cutting, but feel free to use any images you'd like.

Step 3: Test

I recommend doing some test cuts before marching through the desert of laser cutting for what might seem like forty years. I did about one box worth of tests before I was satisfied with the results. In the end increased contrast was important as well as taking the laser out of focus by about half an inch. With the laser out of focus it's power gets dispersed over a slightly larger area and as a result it darkens the Matzah more without cutting through it.

Step 4: Engrave

The actual laser engraving takes a pretty long time so it might be a good idea to bring along some Torah portions to read. I set up a few rows of Matzah so that I wouldn't need to spend so much time in setup for each piece.

Step 5: Enjoy

Mazel tov! Break out the gefilte fish and the horseradish, it's time to eat. Actually, I don't recommend eating food that has been in the laser cutter. It doesn't smell good and I can't imagine it is healthy.

Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, Ha-motzi le-chem min ha-a-retz.

Comments

author
Meglymoo87 (author)2016-04-29

AMAZING! :)

author
Amaries (author)2016-04-25

These are too beautiful to eat!

author
CobyUnger (author)Amaries2016-04-26

Thanks Amaries.

author
John_Singleton_ (author)2016-04-23

They are so detailed

author

Laser cutters are amazing tools.

author
Asamati98 (author)2016-04-23

That's awesome! We've done stuff like this but with a regular loaf of bread with our laser engraver at school. My friend did this and handed out custom toast for his student council campaign!

author
CobyUnger (author)Asamati982016-04-24

I love the idea of custom toast as a campaign strategy. Props to you and your friend. Keep up the good work.

author
ToolboxGuy (author)2015-04-13

I have to ask the "burning questions" - did it get baked by the lasering? Is it still Matzah if it did?

author
CobyUnger (author)ToolboxGuy2015-04-22

Great question. You'll have to ask a Rabbi.

author
imcp1024 (author)CobyUnger2016-04-22

The fact that it is unleavened bread is the point. I don't know if baking has anything to do with it.

author
evacooper (author)ToolboxGuy2015-04-26

matzah is already baked. but if you use it in dishes (broken up like i do) it's still matzah, no worries...

author
cavemanhz (author)2016-04-22

good job!

author
Yonatan24 (author)2015-12-16

Well, They obviously had extremely expensive laser cutters while they were escaping from pharoah... :)

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CobyUnger (author)Yonatan242015-12-27

In some versions of the story they had 3D printers and CNC routers too!

author
Hannahhoo (author)2015-04-10

Three words, my friend: Motza. Marmite. Sandwich.
Brilliant if you're a fan of Marmite and particularly crunchy biscuits! :D

author
CobyUnger (author)Hannahhoo2015-04-22

Hmmmm... mabye I'll try it.

author
Hannahhoo (author)CobyUnger2015-04-24

Yes! :D
The goal of any Marmite fan is to spread (get it?) the love. <3

author
spark master (author)Hannahhoo2015-04-11

4 words , you missed Revolting

I know many people like the stuff, but it was repulsive when I tasted it, kinda like Derma or Haggis some people swear by it others swear at it!

but

to each his/her own, so ........ Enjoy!

author
CobyUnger (author)spark master2015-04-22

Isn't that the whole idea of marmite? Some people love it and others hate it.

author
Hannahhoo (author)spark master2015-04-12

Vegetarian haggis is more edible than real haggis. But your point is still valid. :P

author
CobyUnger (author)Hannahhoo2015-04-10

I've never had Marmite. I've heard many people hate it, but those who like it love it.

author
stephenmack (author)2015-04-11

This could make Passover so much more fun!

author
CobyUnger (author)stephenmack2015-04-22

There are also Haggadahs specifically written to make passover more fun.

author
rpanic (author)2015-04-12

Any chance I could order some of these from you? My gf is turning 30 at the end of the month, and she would really enjoy something like this.

author
CobyUnger (author)rpanic2015-04-22

You should ask Konrad B to do it for you instead. I don't have the time or access to the laser cutter anymore.

author
Konrad B (author)rpanic2015-04-12

if Mr. Unger is too busy I will be more than happy to make them for you. Just let me know, as I will be trying this, I've lasered a lot of things but never food, it should be fun!

author
Jays girl (author)2015-04-14

looks good

author
CobyUnger (author)Jays girl2015-04-22

Thanks

author
Juanamac (author)2015-04-14

these are completely awesome.

author
CobyUnger (author)Juanamac2015-04-22

Glad you enjoy them.

author
julialewis (author)2015-04-15

amazing!

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CobyUnger (author)julialewis2015-04-22

Thanks!

author
DMDPhilly made it! (author)2015-04-16

Should have read all the instructions. Next time we'll do it out of focus. Thanks Coby

IMG_3789.jpg
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CobyUnger (author)DMDPhilly2015-04-22

No problem. Nice attempt with the burning bush.

author
ET studio (author)2015-04-19

GREAT!

what a good surprise to meet pessach here in such way...

author
CobyUnger (author)ET studio2015-04-22

Glad you like it.

author
syoung124 made it! (author)2015-04-18

adam sandler looked like voldimort

temp_-848916914.jpg
author
CobyUnger (author)syoung124 2015-04-22

Your photo appears to be fully black. Can you maybe upload again?

author
dstech (author)2015-04-19

haha, Don't know that the laser cutter I have access to would allow me to try this, but mazel tov on a hilariously awesome project!

author
CobyUnger (author)dstech2015-04-22

Thanks. It never hurts to ask, you might be surprised by what people will let you do with tools if you demonstrate that you are responsible.

author
eslipak (author)2015-04-11

I used to eat matzo with butter and salt. Mmmmmmm!!!

author
Hollyangrace (author)2015-04-09

Cool stuff but not everyone has all the high tec gadgets. Voted though

author

you could try it with a hand lens, although by the time you are done, it won't be Kosherr for Passover!

author
CobyUnger (author)Hollyangrace2015-04-10

Someone commented above you with a cool way to do it with foil. Sounds like it would be pretty easy.

author
kasssa (author)2015-04-09

Great idea, with interesting possibilities! I could see writing the Four Questions onto four pieces, and giving them to children to read (as the youngest, I was always 'selected' to read them; share the joy!).

Did you hear about the blind man who picked up a piece of matzo and asked "Who wrote this drek?" :-)

author
spark master (author)kasssa2015-04-11

ROFLOL

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CobyUnger (author)kasssa2015-04-10

I was thinking about righting some things on them for Seder. Maybe next year.

author
hogey74 (author)2015-04-09

Awesome! Even some of the duds look cool.

author
CobyUnger (author)hogey742015-04-10

Thanks.

author
LancasterPA (author)2015-04-09

Kind of loses something when you make matzo brei.

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Bio: I build, I teach, I learn. Happiest when covered in saw dust, sweat and machine grease. Visit CobyUngerDesign.com for more projects and info.
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