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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Glacier National Park Ketubah

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

Glacier National Park Ketubah

A trip to The Cirque at Glacier National Park inspired this couple to request a scenic ketubah.  The distant mountains and sky form the backdrop for the text itself, while the midground and foreground are alive with interesting flora, fauna, and mineral formations.  The wish list included fireweed (I added some additional floral pals from the park’s biome), a lake with glaciers in it, and two white mountain goats. Would you like to see the thumbnail sketch from which this ketubah developed?  Here’s what I came up with after quite a few Skype conversations and back and forth...

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I Betroth You to Me Ketubah

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

I Betroth You to Me Ketubah

The very warm colors of this ketubah were selected by the bride and groom to be carried out in the border design as well as the wildflowers wrapping the huppah poles.  Around the border are the words of the Hebrew text from Hosea 2:19 : “And I will betroth you to me for ever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercy.”  You will notice that the text is broken up so that you start reading in the middle right following over the top, and then pick up again in the middle right and read down and up to the middle left.  Why?  It’s a calligrapher’s custom to break lettering that runs all around a design so that the reader does not have to stand on his or her head to read upside-down text at the bottom! This design brings traditional imagery from many cultures together: Celtic knotwork, Persian tile patterns, contemporary north American floral painting, and the color scheme that resonates with the bride’s southern Indian heritage. Notice the very tiny tsitsit in the corners of the huppah canopy, a visual reminder of the couple’s commitment to Jewish...

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