Delicate Seasons Papercut Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Delicate Seasons Papercut Ketubah

The simplicity of this ketubah belies the complexity of the couples’ intentions and the work involved in bringing their vision to life. We began with a request for leafy images of the turning of the season and a very simple papercut design.  After many sketches sent back and forth, we hit upon a design that nests the text in a pattern of abstracted twigs.  The seasons are referenced in tiny buds, opening blossoms, new leaves, and finally aging and falling leaves – only a few for each season.  It’s worth the effort to spot the seasons this way!  The background color took 5 different tubes of paint to mix in order to match the periwinkle blue paint chip that the couple chose.  The background was painted on a stretched sheet of watercolor paper and then the text and papercut image were dropped on top to allow the cut paper to sit a bit...

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Papercut Orchestra Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 11, 2017 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Papercut Orchestra Ketubah

As always, the drawing table is clear when I start work on a ketubah and I am wide open to a new adventure!  This couple met while playing in an orchestra, he the horn, and she the bassoon, and along with the papercut images and the sunrise on the sea, they wanted the instruments somewhat hidden in the design.  The French horn (based on a photo of his magnificent instrument from an earlier era) was the easiest since it lent itself to becoming the rising sun.  The bassoon took some tweaking, at first very recognizable with all the stops and valves, and then stripped down a bit and nestled in among some sea grasses to keep it part of the bigger picture. Creating this piece involved lots of images sent back and forth to make sure the tree was just what the couple wanted.  If you look closely you can see that the papercut is elevated just slightly from the pastel colored background so it creates a thin shadow effect.  This way the delicacy of the papercut cannot be confused with a silk screened print. Here’s a look at the text and papercut before the color was...

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Leaves and Petals Ring the Seasons Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Leaves and Petals Ring the Seasons Ketubah

The color palette of the seasons is represented in a ring of 32 trees, each one moving in color and foliage ever so slightly as the year marches forward.  The color changes are echoed in several lines that translate the chosen modern Hebrew text of the ketubah, lines the couple wanted to emphasize in their promises to one another.  Tucked in among the leaves is the college logo of the school where the couple met.  One of the special aspects of designing from scratch is the ability to place personal images and messages in the document to crystalize moments or experiences shared by the...

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West Virginia in Bloom Ketubah

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Ketubah Art, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

West Virginia in Bloom Ketubah

For a beautiful ceremony on the top of a mountain, this couple sent me a very specific list of local wildflowers and trees at the peak of color.  These flowers are like old friends, and what a joy it is for me to place them in such a precious setting!  Language is so very important, as you can see from the care that clearly went into crafting this document. Here’s an image of the rabbi preparing to read the document as part of the ceremony.  My ketubot and marriage contracts are always mounted in hand-made folders, well protected – even on a mountain top!- and kept flat and safe until...

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Gratitude to Ambassador Dennis Ross

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Awards, Certificates, and Commissioned Works, News, Visual Art | 0 comments

Gratitude to Ambassador Dennis Ross

The Jewish Community Relations Councils of Harrisburg and York Pennsylvania commissioned me to craft a small piece to present to Ambassador Dennis Ross.  Using a paper batik technique and matting the piece in a parchment mat, the piece, in a total frame-size of 11″ honors the founding documents and visions of the United States and the State of...

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High Holiday Torah Mantles

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Jewish Ritual Art, News, Public Art, Visual Art | 0 comments

High Holiday Torah Mantles

When Torah mantles are commissioned for the High Holidays, there’s a good chance that the ‘theme’ and the ‘color palette’ will take a committee a minimal amount of time to determine.  Still, as I work with groups, I try to elicit enough to make the final product a perfect fit.  For this project, I asked the committee members, the rabbi, the ritual committee, and other interested congregants to tell me, “What do you want to ‘feel’ when the ark opens on Rosh Hashana?  Not specific images, but instead abstract thoughts about that moment of invitation to go deep into self-examination and hope for the new year.” Three pages of madly transcribed ideas led to what you see above. One of the five Torah mantles, each featuring a different mix of quilted earth-toned silks on soft, highest quality chenille, with hand stitching and five colors of Swarovski crystals, build on a committee’s charge to create a set of mantles that would inspire introspection with simplicity.  A trip to the garment district in New York City led me to the wonderful gem of a shop called Metro Textile where Kashi spread out a world of beautiful cloth.  Fabulous Kansas-based wood turner Tom Boley handcrafted the maple rings for the tops of the mantles. The wood tops are heavily padded – a surprising pleasure  to handle when the Torah is to be dressed. Everything about these covers is a delight and an inspiration.  They are heavily quilted and lined, measured specifically to fit each of the Torah’s specs, and made for years and years of use. Congregants’ reactions to the mantles included these comments:  “I saw the Kotel right away – all the different shapes and soft colors of the wall…” “I saw manna coming down from heaven – and a reaching up from earth.”  “Connections between Heaven and Earth.”  “Exquisite simplicity.  Perfect for the season!” Work in...

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