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Quilts, Flowers and Patterns in New Ketubot

posted by Arielle Angel on August 16, 2015

We are so excited to present three new ketubot, by two new Ketuv artists! The first two ketubot are by Edeet Bergman, an Israeli artist based in Manhattan who has been devoting herself to ketubot for the last decade. The first one, called the Garden of Eden ketubah, is very indicative of Edeet’s signature style in graphite, surreal and rich. We also love the concept behind this ketubah, which Edeet shared was about weathering the ups and downs in a relationship with equanimity and acceptance.

Garden of Eden Ketubah graphite on paper 13 x 19 " 2015

Edeet also contributed a ketubah based on Native American quilts, aptly named the Quilt Ketubah:

Quilt Ketubah acrylic and pen on paper 13 x 19 " 2015

The third ketubah was by a new D.C.-based Ketuv artist named Lauren Kotkin. Actually, Lauren got in touch after creating a ketubah for one of our text-only ketubah customers. We loved what she did with their ketubah (we’ll be showing a whole bunch of examples of what independent artists have done with our text-only ketubot in our next post), and we are so happy to have her on our roster with this beautiful, floral collaged ketubah, called Love Grows:

Love Grows collage on paper 11.7"x16.5" 2015

We hope you like them as much as we do! For more information on Edeet or Lauren, visit their artist pages by clicking on their names!

NEW ketubah, Chairs #3 (Two Brides)

posted by Arielle Angel on March 13, 2013

By popular demand, Ketuv artist Giliah Litwack has expanded her “Chairs” series for two brides! Check it out! Chairs #3 is now available in our shop for all you lovebirds! And don’t miss Giliah’s Chairs #2 ketubah, featured prominently in last week’s Washington Jewish Week, pages 55-56!

NEW Ketubot by Rachelle Tolwin!

posted by Arielle Angel on

Ketuv is pleased to announce the inclusion of two sweet, domestic new ketubot by Rachelle Tolwin! The first is the Geometric Ketubah. According to Rachelle, this ketubah is inspired by the symbol of the chuppah, a transcendental entranceway to a new phase in the life of a couple, where the transformative act of marriage occurs. The second is Growing Together, about “planting the seeds for your life together, as you journey side by side, growing and supporting one another.” We just love how both of these ketubot make use of symbols that center on the idea of “home” — the chuppah, a lovely pair of house plants. What a wonderful way to signal the transition into wedded bliss!

Monika and Jonathan’s Intimate Maui Wedding

posted by Arielle Angel on December 20, 2012

Just had to share these pictures from Monika and Jonathan’s Maui wedding. I always love the simple talis chuppah–that’s really all you need. And get a load of that BHLDN dress. It’s customers like Monika– an artist herself who had trouble finding a ketubah she could relate to before coming across the work of Ketuv artist Paola Andrea Ochoa— who make it worthwhile for us! All photos by Gordon Nash.

Ketubah Signing at Lovely Mountain Nuptials

posted by Arielle Angel on November 13, 2012

Just had to share these beautiful photos of the ketubah signing from Josh and Danielle’s lovely mountain nuptials, taking place at the Banner Elk Winery in North Carolina. The ketubah is Rachelle Tolwin’s Petals Ketubah. Gotta love the post-signing newlywed high five (followed by a kiss, of course)!

I won’t spoil any of the details of this gem of a wedding–you’ll be seeing them on one of your favorite wedding blogs real soon!

All photos by Robby Campbell.


Patterned Ketubah for a Miami Wedding

posted by Arielle Angel on October 1, 2012

When Jacki and Ido asked me to create their ketubah, I was thrilled. The bride has been one of my best friends since age four, and I wanted to contribute to their special day in any way that I could.

The colors of their wedding were black and “Tiffany blue,” and they used a damask pattern on their invitations, seating cards and table numbers. I took this damask pattern, drew and hand-painted it, arranged the pattern facing in several different orientations, and created a 3-D mosaic by overlaying paper “grout” in the bride and groom’s signature Tiffany blue. The grout also encompassed the first letter of the Hebrew and English text.

I had the opportunity of being in the room when the bride and groom signed the ketubah and did a small beddekin ceremony. I thought doing the beddekin in private was a nice, intimate alternative to doing it in front of all the wedding guests (and check out that picture…Yowza!).

Another noteworthy detail was the timing of the wedding– it took place on Biscayne Bay at sunset, under a breezy bamboo chuppah.


The Ketubah Signing:

Abba: Hey, Ido, smell my finger!

Ido: Not now, Abba.

The Beddekin:

This “Beddekin” picture: I’m kvelling.

Reading the ketubah under the Chuppah:

The bride receiving the ketubah.

Check out Jacki and Ido’s simple, elegant bamboo chuppah.

Mazel Tov Jacki and Ido! Thanks for letting me, and Ketuv, be a part of your special day!

Venue: Trios on the Bay, North Bay Village, Florida

Photography: Marisa Matluck

Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang

The Ketubah, The Tish, The Chuppah

posted by Arielle Angel on July 10, 2012

We just received these lovely images from Jackie and Ronnie’s wedding and we just HAD to share them. Traditionally, before the bride and groom go to the chuppah, the groom has a Tish, where liquor is drunk and the ketubah is signed by two male witnesses. Ronnie’s looked like one helluva party!

Jackie and Ronnie chose Alice Scott’s Pomegranate Gem ketubah. Ronnie is Persian and cited the importance of pomegranates in Persian culture. Jackie’s birthstone is the ruby, which sparkle from inside the pomegranates. It felt personal to both of them, and they both liked the way the ketubah took a traditional symbol and mixed it up a little.

Some couples choose to put their ketubah on an easel. Still others forget this detail altogether and must handle the unprotected ketubah. Jackie and Ronnie dealt with this very cleverly. They had the ketubah framed before the wedding, but without the glass, to allow for signatures. After the wedding, they went back to the framer and added the glass. (If you don’t want to frame beforehand, you can always get your ketubah matted for the wedding and frame later.) The frame without the glass was also light enough for Jackie’s mother to hold the ketubah during the ceremony, which had a very intimate look and feel.

Art Deco Ketubah

posted by Arielle Angel on June 20, 2012

A few weeks ago, my dear childhood friend, Naomi, tied the knot with her partner-in-crime, Ben. They might have just about the cutest how-we-met story in the world. They were each others’ first kiss, when they were both around 12-years-old at Camp Ramah. Their relationship went the way of many a camp romance– Naomi dumped him the next day– but they were destined to reunite years later, when Ben was on business in Miami. He didn’t know anyone there, and decided to contact the only person he “knew”–his old camp flame (thanks Facebook!). Neither was expecting much, but the rest is history!

Their relationship began in Miami and developed in New York, where Ben returned soon after they met, and where they currently live. It may seem that these two places have nothing in common architecturally, but that’s not true: they both have a significant relationship to Art Deco. That was Naomi and Ben’s request from me: an art deco ketubah that featured New York-style deco and Miami-style deco.

I chose the Chrysler building for New York (much prettier than the blocky Empire State), and Miami’s New Yorker Hotel, which was actually demolished in the 80s, but I thought it would be a cute sign to highlight the Miami-New York connection.

Art Deco Ketubah by Arielle Angel

15″ x 16″, Micron pen, acrylic paint and gold leaf on paper, 2012

This is me with the finished ketubah, right before the signing. This was a special experience for me, because not only did I create the ketubah, but I was one of the witnesses as well. This was the first time I got to sign a ketubah that I made. It was very emotional. The groom blessed the bride at this point as well, and there was not a dry eye in the room.

The second witness, Michael, signing the ketubah.

I didn’t get a chance to document the ketubah before the wedding, but thankfully the wedding photographers from Glenmar Studios helped me out. If there was a detail shot, you’d be able to see my best attempt at an “Art Deco” Hebrew font.

Until next time…

The Custom Ketubah

posted by Arielle Angel on March 16, 2012

Custom Map ketubah by Rachelle Tolwin

We know that commissioning a custom ketubah can be intimidating. That’s why we recently shared our tips with Jewish wedding experts, The Wedding Yentas. We had so much info on the topic that the post comes in two parts, Part I and Part II. If you’re considering a custom work, definitely follow the links to the post as a whole, but either way, here are some excerpts that will give you a sense of the process. Figure out what your ketubah is about: Talk to your partner about what aspects of your relationship you would like your ketubah to highlight. They should be the things that you feel are truly special about your relationship. You may want to think about the stories that are important to you as a couple: how you met, the moment you “knew,” a trip you took together. Your ketubah can depict, say, the park bench where he proposed, or a map of all the New York City apartments you both lived in before you met one another. Start thinking about color: This could be as basic as wanting the ketubah to echo your wedding colors, or the colors of your home, or it could be more symbolic. Figure out what you like: There is no special formula to finding the right artist, and you don’t have to know about art to have an experience with it. Look around. When you like something, listen to yourself. Collect images of the artwork you and your partner like, and look at all the images together to see if there is a pattern emerging. Communicate: Let your artist in on the details of the conversation you had with your partner, and share your little folder of inspiration images, taking him/her through your vision for your ketubah. In one case, a couple even sent me a crude version of what they wanted, which they sketched out themselves in crayon!

The client’s sketch to the artist’s rendering

As we told The Wedding Yentas, this may sound like a lot of work, but we believe that you and your partner can figure out the basics of what you’re interested in over the span of a dedicated afternoon. It might also be fun, an opportunity to literally “visualize” your relationship. Don’t forget that your artist will also bring something to the table. You don’t have to have everything figured out in order to start the conversation! Again, for the full post, including more information about ketubah text on a custom work, as well as the details of the agreement between artist and client, please visit The Wedding Yentas, and Ketuv’s posts, Part I and Part II!

Doing It All: Designer and Illustrator Elli Chortara

posted by Arielle Angel on February 8, 2012

It’s been a busy couple weeks here at Ketuv: new inquiries and new ketubot! Last week, we introduced you to Will Deutsch, and announced his new Ahava ketubah for Ketuv’s line. This week, meet designer and illustrator Elli Chortara, and check out her totally fresh ketubot!

Elli’s inspiration for these ketubot is “windswept”– the idea of the wind blowing through a specific scene and rearranging it– in this case, a garden and a field. We think it has a wonderfully graphic and even deco-ish feel.

Bird in the Garden

In the Fields

We are so consistently impressed with Elli and how many different kinds of projects she is involved in, so we recently asked her how she finds gigs and projects and manages her time, and how she developed her own signature style.

Ketuv: What are you working on right now?

Elli Chortara: I am currently working on a series of robot-animal-like creatures, and I am also writing a story about each, a story that communicates messages that go beyond the story of the character to tap into something more satirical, ambiguous or hidden. This will develop into a book project and perhaps a compact theme for a solo exhibition. Visual storytelling is something that I would like to work more with. Imaginary creatures and characters fascinate me!

The Sleepwalker

That Report

Recently, I have been commissioned to illustrate poetry for an Ireland-based poetry magazine called The Shop: A Magazine of Poetry, which is something I find very exciting as a more conceptual part of my practice. The interpretation of words and feelings, moods or messages is something that has always been latent in my work.

I have also been pairing illustration and design by doing some poster and banner design for an arts festival and arts-based organization, Rowan Arts, in London.

K: You do everything from hat design to illustration for lit mags. How you find different projects/gigs?

EC: Sometimes, people I already know might commission me for private work. Sometimes, it will be people who have seen the work online. The important thing is to be able to build a network— to make sure that you build client relationships built in trust and mutual understanding. I maintain a blog as another way of keeping in touch with people and making sure people see the work.

I check out art sites like ArtsJobs in the UK and Re-Title to see if there are any magazines, exhibitions, online sites or zines that need illustrators, and that match my style, and I send them work samples and a link to my website. I am a member of several networks like Behance and the Association of Illustrators (AOI), which have valuable resources. I use social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, and I often do rounds of emails to potential clients and promote my work on artist websites. Of course, if I get the job, and the work is published, that is also another promotional tool for the work itself.

New Era 90th Birthday Hat Design

K: How do you manage your time for all these projects?

EC: The main challenge is to keep myself organized as much as possible, which is not always easy. At the moment, I have a comprehensive schedule on my calendar and mobile phone combining many different work schedules. Keeping one foot on the ground can save time and make life easier.

The other side of things is about maintaining my inspiration levels, which is very much related to exploring new things. I want to make sure to stay active: listening to new music, having a constructive chat, exploring nature, noting down things, and being the person I want to be, despite the everyday challenges and the limited amount of time.

I must remember to pause and take a moment to reflect inwards, as it is often vital to the success of an otherwise hectic day. The important thing for me is to look at the time and to make time, to always look forward to what’s next on the horizon and to maintain a positive attitude.

Black and White illustration for a book of folktales

K: How did you develop your unique style?

EC: Developing a style takes time. It began, for me, during my MA course in Illustration at the Camberwell College of Arts (University of the Arts London). The research process there helped me decide which direction to take stylistically.

But that was only the beginning. You don’t usually leave art school with a ready portfolio or a commissioned project. It’s the work that I have done since then—the experimentations and risks I’ve taken—that have helped most in formulating my current style. It still is a long, joyful process and I don’t think it will ever really end. The work should consistently be pushed further and developed, based on new influences, research, exploration, feedback, and one’s own experience.

For more information on Elli Chortara, visit her artist page. You can also check out her new ketubot, Bird in the Garden, and In The Fields.