Pomegranates and Grapefruits Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Pomegranates and Grapefruits Ketubah

Somewhat fanciful, definitely tasty!   The bride gave me a concise list of fruits that she wanted to frame the text.   I used pomegranate leaves and blossoms to connect the upper right and lower left.   I love these requests. Some years ago I was researching a piece of art that incorporated the 7 species from the Torah and I found an old book on a library shelf published by Oxford University – a compendium of paintings of edible fruits and nuts from around the world.  I wanted to eat it up!   I used it, turned it back in, and then returned to the library about 2 months later to check it out again.  To my dismay it had been ‘de-acquisitioned’ – tossed out as useless!!   Agkh!!!  Love your library, and be sure to tell the librarians when you fall in love with an obscure book.  It might just save it from becoming recycled...

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Engagement Scene Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Engagement Scene Ketubah

Clusters of white and tiny blue flowers bookend the painted image of the place where this couple decided to marry.  Quite often, people send me photos to work from, and it’s always a delight to be privileged to hear the ‘back story’ which makes it possible for me to produce a lasting image that captures what’s inside the bride and groom!  The outer blue border was meticulously painted around everything else to create an inner frame.   As with other clients, I asked this couple to send me paint chips and I mixed the paint to match their preferred colors. In the top of the canopy, the words in raised gold leaf spell out “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” in Yiddish. I always try to get details details details from people so I can read their minds artistically, but I also advise folks to not choose the color palette for their ketubah to match the sofa!  Furniture changes, taste changes, and hopefully the marriage will outlast current styles and remain a treasured part of a home for decades to come!...

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Jerusalem/Family Tree Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Jerusalem/Family Tree Ketubah

There’s a short list of imagery that has consistently appeared in ketubah art for as long back as we’ve seen historic evidence.   One of those visual references is Jerusalem, and even today, when people seem so caught up in the here and now, I am most frequently asked to paint a reference to Jerusalem.  Here’s a vignette under the most colorful and intricate arch of a dreamy Yerushalayim Shel Zahav. One of the challenges of laying out a ketubah like this is to take two texts, in this case Aramaic and English, of different lengths, and fit them both into exactly symmetrical shapes.   I do not work with a computer, but rather rely on my eye and years of experience working with alphabets. At the base of the ketubah, a full-crowned tree becomes the backdrop for a three generation family tree, with names written in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, and Cyrillic letters!   I’m sometimes snapped to attention in my work when I realize that these documents are more than lovely mementos or legally binding contracts for an individual couple.  As is this one, they are often historic capsules that create a visual home for generations of family information, and they are of course heirlooms-in-the-making, crafted with finest materials on paper that will last for future...

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Desert Rose Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Desert Rose Ketubah

Desert Rose Ketubah As unlikely as it seems, the flowering plant pictured is indeed the desert rose.  One of the biggest challenges that I face as a designer is to create something unified and beautiful out of the imagery and text supplied by my clients.   This one proved to be a challenge because the couple insisted upon the actual flowering desert rose (described by some as a blooming elephant’s leg!) as the central image.   I looked through dozens of photographs and finally decided to put the plants on a short diet and emphasize the spectacular flowers instead of the mighty stems.   My research gave me an emotional ‘hook’ as I read that the plant seems to exist on solid rock, sending its extremely strong roots down into barely visible crevices.  What an image for a relationship, deeply rooted and as strong as can be, and beautiful as...

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Jewish/Korean document

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Jewish/Korean document

The two individuals who commissioned this document each have strong connections to their heritage and to their family’s roots.   Thus a non-traditional marriage document was developed to honor the new intertwining of lives and customs.  Though not a ketubah, the document is a witnessed contract of marriage, and highights the names of bride and groom in respective Korean and Hebrew.  The symbols of a pair of ducks (who mate for life), cranes, and several of the specific flowers are all used in traditional Korean wedding ceremonies. I have been asked many times to make ‘ketubot’ for intermarried, and in some cases non-Jewish couples, and although I am always delighted to help people bring their visions (words and imagery) to life in a marriage contract, I am careful to explain that the term ketubah is a witnessed legal document of marriage between two Jews.   As in all artistic life, the cross-pollination of cultures allows us today to bring that 2000-year old visual history into a new century and there’s no reason to restrict a healthy borrowing of styles and intentions.   I just clarify that what we call a ketubah is true to the meaning of the term and that we appropriately honor the identities of the individuals who are marrying.   It’s therefore very important that the language we use and the language within the document itself be as honest as it is celebratory.  ...

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Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Ketubah

Posted by on Jun 7, 2011 in Ketubah Art, News | 0 comments

Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Ketubah

The couple who worked with me on this design loved the clean lines and visual balance of Frank Lloyd Wright’s geometric imagery. We determined that the overall shape would be horizontal, and examined several iconic Wright designs in order to identify just what grabbed them. I asked them to provide me with 4 or 5 color chips that would represent their palette and we were off! The biggest challenge was to fit the texts in Aramaic and English as well as the verse in the top section into sections of the design so they were fully integrated and balanced the colored circles and squares. An architect friend who saw the finished piece told me it was (til then, anyway!) her favorite among my calligraphic...

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