Middle Eastern Ketubot
With Arabesque and Hamsa design elements
are perennial favorites for couples who want a distinctly traditional Jewish look to their ketubah. I decided to make two new designs that merge the two themes. I tried something a bit different for these two ketubahs. Instead of placing the text inside of a square or circle, I tried placing the layout inside the shape of a Hamsa.
And the result is spectacular!
The interplay of shapes and the deep, rich colors really lend an air of luxury to these ketubah designs.
The star pattern arabesque design has four distinct layers that stack together precisely. The colors are specifically selected to work harmoniously and to balance each other out. White and gray with midnight blue and a rich gold accent.
The damask patterned design is a bit more subtle, with only three layers of white on a deep midnight blue and subtle gold accents peeking through just enough for a spark when the light hits it.
I worked adapted traditional shapes and patterns in such a way that they look contemporary and fresh (and not like an old rug, as is sometimes the risk when working with old-style designs). The lines are clean and delicate. This is all down to the interpretation of the design. For example, I chose to give the stars rounded edges to soften them. Another interpretation of such a design would have sharp angles, for example, for a harder look.
These are the choices a designer makes when dealing with classic motifs. Where do the accents go? How are the lines interpreted? Brightly colored or subdued? All these details have to be in mind even before starting out on the actual pattern design.
Classic Middle Eastern patterns all function on elaborate geometric underpinnings. It is very different than when I create a design based on freehand drawing, which is more free-flowing and more open to interpretation.
A design that relies on repeat patterning requires a large degree of precision. in order to properly match openings as they stack up layer after layer. You can see in this close-up how the edges are clean and precise because this was cut with a very fine knife. A laser cutting process would have left a dirtier, rougher edge with brown scorch marks.
You can find both of these new designs in the shop section of my website.