I really enjoyed working on this commission for a custom ketubah order. The request left a lot of room for interpretation. The instructions were for this ketubah to include the bride’s two cats, include some elements from the couple’s life, and to use some bright metallic accents.
Originally I went with a design that looked like a circle, but was actually an 18 sided polygon, which represents Chai, but we eventually switched to an interesting semicircle/dome shape, which is very unique.
This is a large, solid feeling, and very substantial ketubah at around 25″ across. Its size and shape are very striking–especially in the light with the interplay of metallic reflections and the shadows between paper layers.
The earlier drafts were a bit unfocused as I was trying different motifs and symbols. The tree roots were a suggestion from the bride, but there was something odd about the large space along the bottom taken up by one minor element. Among the photos the bride sent me for reference was a domed doorway, which ended up being the inspiration for the final shape the ketubah took.
I included a variety of metallic accents in both silver and gold both in the kissing goldfish, the cats, and the sun and abstract circles. At this size, making sure all the layers registered together was tricky because errors get magnified with size. In a smaller sized ketubah, tiny errors are not noticeable, but larger sizes are completely unforgiving–the eye catches every imperfection, no matter how insignificant. There was a lot of going back and forth between layers and carefully running the blade underneath edges–something you have to do slowly and with a very sharp blade to avoid a catastrophic slip of the hand.
I was very lucky that the bride and groom were a pleasure to work with. They had very clear ideas and their comments were always constructive. It was a great collaboration from beginning to end, which made this custom ketubah project very satisfying.
If you’re getting married soon and you would like to commission a custom ketubah of your own, you can take a look here.