Sycamore through the Seasons Quaker Document

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Sycamore through the Seasons Quaker Document

One precious tradition in the Quaker community is to have all attendees at a wedding sign the marriage document as witnesses, so the design is begun with that in mind. The lines for witness signatures continue far below what’s seen here, and upon completion, I’ll take the document back and erase the very light lines.  Here the couple chose to work with the image of the sycamore tree in its four seasons arching over the text with the lines for witnesses (who will sign in brown ink) below, implying the roots and support for the marriage.  The text is nested within nature images, the wildflowers at the base of the tree echoing the seasonal changes in the tree’s crown....

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Papercut Ring Marriage Document

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Papercut Ring Marriage Document

As always, surprises come my way when couples talk with me about their ‘wish list’ for a custom commission.  In this case, the text includes Latin by Petrarch and Dante, and a lovely selection from the poetry of Christina Rossetti.  The challenge of the poem was that in verse it breaks into many lines with lots of punctuation. Placing that in a format that more resembles prose and needs to keep the integrity of the poetry while showing line breaks was a challenge, so the solution was to cut the tiniest circles out of the paper and back them with a lighter paper to minimize the disruption that inserting more symbols would have caused.   The Latin text is lettered in an authentic Rustic style that would have been seen in Latin scribal work at the time of the original writing. Calligraphic history and integrity! Note in the close ups below that the lettering is done in gold!  This is a high quality (Schminke) gold gouache, a pasty water-based paint that may be thinned enough to flow through a pen.  Oh, and the papercut?  I used about a dozen X-acto blades on this.  The tiny points break, and the friction when cutting heavy paper dulls the blades as well.  I purchase my blades in bulk! Work in...

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Persian Carpet Ketubah

Posted by on Aug 30, 2015 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Persian Carpet Ketubah

This ketubah was designed for a ‘mixed marriage’ – Ashkenazi and Sephardi! The text, written in square Ashkenazi lettering, is surrounded by design drawn from Persian tiles and manuscript art. EVERYTHING is drawn and hand-painted, using Japanese Sumi ink, watercolor and gouache.  Above the text block is a painting of Jerusalem, and the Hebrew words – Ani l’dodi v’dodi li’ (I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.)  Below the text, two peacocks, a reference to the Goldene Pave (the golden peacock, symbol of the persistence of Yiddish culture) flank the Yiddish translation of the same line from Song of...

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Jerusalem/New York and Beyond Papercut Ketubah

Posted by on Aug 10, 2015 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Jerusalem/New York and Beyond Papercut Ketubah

For this ketubah, the discussions led the couple to identify images that they wanted, as well as style.  They brought to me a gnarled tree, a lake, references to New York City and Jerusalem, and also Traverse City, Michigan, home of the bride’s family and the site of the wedding. They were drawn to papercut art with soft ombre coloring behind. How to fit it all in?  You see above! Jerusalem and NYC are easy, but Traverse City also takes a bow as the sour cherry capitol of the United States by way of a basket of cherries nestled at the base of the tree.  And can you find the Yiddish word ‘bashert’ (fated or destined love) ‘carved’ into the tree...

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Simple Blue Wildflowers Ketubah

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Simple Blue Wildflowers Ketubah

I consider the wildflowers that pop up in the spring to be friends I haven’t seen for a year and so I am overjoyed to spend time with them again when a request comes to feature them in a ketubah.  My dearest flowers are the Japanese dayflower, an incredible electric blue, most delicate and perched over a pale green leaf, and the spiderwort.  During the near melt-down at Three Mile Island, everyone ran out to plant spiderworts because the folk legend was that they would turn color it exposed to radiation. The flowers and I had a good laugh about that one. Anyway, this is a most simple ketubah, and please notice that besides the floral border, it’s the lettering itself that carries the day:  a variant of the Sephardi style of Hebrew lettering, the text is clean and ordered, a most beautiful design in...

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