Sometimes I think I’m either an idiot or a masochist.
When I started researching what other papercut artists are selling, ketubot came up, and the idea immediately clicked with me. A ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract – a legally binding piece of paperwork – but it’s more than just a document. It’s a work of art, meant to be displayed as an object of beauty and a daily reminder of the promises made on a couple’s wedding day. It’s a tradition that’s being embraced by more and more couples outside the Jewish faith, obviously not holding the same status under religious law for non-Jews, but still a very powerful representation of their vows.
I’ve found these designs are my favorite to draw, and really are the most showstopping pieces in my portfolio, but they’re TORTURE to cut. I don’t know why I have it in my head that a ketubah should be almost impossibly delicate and floaty and whispy, but it’s an idea I can’t shake. The first one I made involved stalks of wheat and blooming desert flowers (designed with our bakery’s wholesale accounts manager in mind, who met his wife in Arizona) and it took about a million hours longer to make than I anticipated.
I swore the next piece I dreamed up would be more practical. And then I decided it should look like antique lace.
It was literally falling apart in my hands as I made it, which actually looks kind of cool and antique-ed now that it’s done, but was incredibly frustrating at the time. So glad to have this one sandwiched between glass panes and tucked safely away! I made the prototype for two of my friends who are getting married this August, but if anyone else orders one, I may just have it lasercut. Still, as ridiculous as it is, I’m pretty smitten with how it came out. I had a lot of fun photographing it and making my Etsy listing.
But next time, I swear, I will simplify. Seriously.