Gifts of May Day Ketubah

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

Gifts of May Day Ketubah

What an experience it was to work with an exciting pair of musician/circus performer/activists who decided with great joy to bring their closest friends and families together for a rollicking May Day wedding on a Texas ranch! As you can see, the design is a complex melding of traditions and conscious inclusion of the spiritual touchstones of their lives.  First of all, this is a ketubah in FOUR languages: Aramaic, Yiddish, Modern Hebrew, and English, each expressing an aspect of commitment in a lettering style that suits the culture and meaning.  The texts float above a representation of the Kabbalistic tree, and in the four corners of the text block are images that recall the significance of the date of the wedding – a Beltane fire, a Maypole, an image for International Workers’ Day, and a sheaf of wheat for the period of the Omer. Above the text is an antique circus wagon wheel, and below, over a tree trunk base, is a schematic drawing of the gear mechanism of a carousel! Turnings and turnings! Papercut herbs and flowers towards the bottom are interspersed with imaginary flowers, and references to the Tarot and the phases of the moon complete the design.  The star-sprinkled sky is also embellished by tiny Swarovski crystals, difficult to see in a photograph, but dazzling on the actual ketubah. Our first Skype conversation yielded 4 pages of notes, and to my delight I was given extremely specific imagery to track down, including the Latin names of the papercut flora! I must say, I lived very happily in the magical and spiritual land of this ketubah for a few...

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Nature’s Colors Papercut Award

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Awards, Certificates, and Commissioned Works, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Nature’s Colors Papercut Award

Each year I am fortunate to be commissioned to create honorary awards for the PA Psychiatric Society, and I begin the process by inquiring about the recipient.  In this case, the recipient is a distance cyclist, among other interests.  I chose the papercut scheme after learning about some of those interests, and chose a palette of colors that one might see on a long-distance bike...

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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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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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Come Grow Old With Me Papercut

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Awards, Certificates, and Commissioned Works, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Come Grow Old With Me Papercut

A commissioned papercut work to honor the special birthday of a beloved spouse, capturing meaningful images and text.  The background is hand-painted in multiple layers of rich watercolor flecked with silver over the deep purples and...

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Swirling Blue-violet Papercut Ketubah

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Ketubah Art, News, Papercuts, Visual Art | 0 comments

Swirling Blue-violet Papercut Ketubah

I love process!  Talking with the groom about imagery and specific color led us to three colors – turquoise for the text and a watercolor background of dusky violet and blue behind a swirl of papercut art.  There are tiny raised dots of 23K gold leaf on the text area that sharpen focus on the words and give the piece a subtle gleam. Setting the text block off center adds visual interest and enhances the sense of movement which is the concept behind this work. The finished ketubah was shipped flat (as all of my pieces are) with an acetate cover inside the folder and a small flap cut just over the signature area to make sure that nothing would snag the delicate papercut...

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