Posted by on Jul 3, 2022 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

NYC skyline papercut

A pandemic love story led to a move from NYC to Harrisburg, PA, and the bride and groom asked to have both cities incorporated into the design of their singular ketubah. As with all of my commissions, I requested a color palette, wording, and of course any abstract or specific likes, dislikes, and wishes.  Armed with lots on the wish list, I got to work with grid paper (LOTS of that!!) and worked and reworked the imagery to create a chuppah, meaningful and beautiful poles, and a skyline packed with recognizable icons.  The Pennsylvania state capitol building sits front and a little off center, proudly announcing that it, too, is part of the story!
When creating such a papercut design, there are ways to ‘engineer’ the work to encourage the eye to see depth even if the images themselves lie quite flat.  I cut away lots of paper to suggest shadows, thus allowing buildings (and a bridge, a statue, and an arch) to appear in front of or behind one another.

Gluing a very wide open, lacy papercut to a painted background turned me into Macgyver for a while, as you can see here.  The last thing I cut out was the open center and by then there was absolutely no way I could glue and lay down the entire piece perfectly aligned with the text, so I brought out the OED, a heavy mailing tube, and some removable tape and went at it with a tiny brush, unrolling as I went along.

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The background painting is created with gouache (an opaque water-based paint), mixed to the six colors chosen by the couple and applied in two layers, with texture added when wet.  I then buffed the surface in the center to allow for the lettering of the text. 


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