The Keter for the Copper Laver
WORK CONTINUES APACE ON THE NEW COPPER LAVER being produced by the Temple Institute, and this past Wednesday, (19 Av, 5768/August 20, 2008), an important step forward was taken: the copper keter, or ornamental crown, which will be affixed to the top of the laver, was completed and delivered to the Acco based factory of Shlomo Buchbut, where the laver is being prepared.
THE BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED KETER IS THE WORK OF CHAIM ODEM, renowned Israeli metalsmith. Chaim has taken part in the design and manufacture of many of the metal vessels produced by the Temple Institute, most notably the golden menorah. For months Chaim has been busy at work on the keter, a process which began with his own artistic rendition of a crowning ornament worthy of adorning the Holy Temple-bound copper laver. Once having acheived a suitable design, Chaim then had to create molds and templates, only after which did he begin the painstaking task of hammering by hand the design into the copper sheet.
THE LAVER IS A SANCTIFIED TEMPLE VESSEL, and as such, it is forbidden to store water in the laver itself overnight. A Second Temple High Priest by the name of Ben Kattin devised a separate reservoir which sat atop the laver, in which the water could be stored, thereby improving the efficiency of the laver, while maintaining the vessel's sanctity. This reservoir was called the muchni. It is upon the muchni's modern-day equivalent that the ornamental crown will sit.
More of the story at this link:
Be sure to watch the entire slideshow presentation from the link. Beautiful workmanship!