H E L L O !
My name is Naomi Shiek (pronounced CHIC).
I create papercut ketubot for private clients in the Nouveau Judaica style.

What is a ketubah, you ask? A KETUBAH is a decorative marriage covenant used and exhibited in Jewish, non-denominational and non-traditional weddings and commitment ceremonies wherein the couple's vows to each other are declared.


ORDERS ARE BOOKED IN ADVANCE.

Ready-to-ship papercuts are listed in

THE SHOP
accepting orders from
JUNE 12

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wonders of the Wood & Sea

Anyone familiar with my work will tell you that flowers and forests are my jam. I can draw them all day. And there are many trees in the forest, but how many trees can you draw in a row, right? Fortunately, I have clients that keep challenging me in new and different ways to step out of my comfort zone, whether by adding new elements or trying new styles all-together. Those creative pushes often turn into the most beautiful papercuts, ones that really stand out from the crowd for me. For example, this custom ketubah from 2015, which still takes my breath away every time I see it:
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WONDERS OF THE WOOD & SEA
18X18 inches big | Midnight Blue & Gold
(click photo for best resolution)
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It was clear from Barry & Amber's emails that they are a very fun couple to be around (their wedding favors were frisbees, guys!). They wanted people to look at their ketubah and see hidden details and fun surprises. Something that celebrated their combined love of the landlocked outdoors with their love of the ocean, and everything in it. We're talking about sharks, orcas, sea monsters... Just re-reading their brief gives me a pump of creative energy! And let me tell ya, it was fun to cram everything in there. Bears! Octopus! Unicorns! Seashells! There's a lot to see, and it feels like any of the four corners can be one complete artwork in and of itself.

For more photos of this ketubah & other custom designs go 
HERE
If you too would like to order a custom ketubah, please contact me HERE 
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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Explanations on texts - what does each mean?


This post has been long in coming. I offer several text templates to my clients to use in their ketubah, and there are many more floating around the web. There are several versions to the texts you can choose, and more that you can write for yourselves. The wide selection naturally causes some apprehension for couples when they first approach the idea of selecting a ketubah for their ceremony.

This post will hopefully clear up some of the confusion as to the differences between each of the popular text options, and help you decide on the best text for you! 

Firstly, the text you choose is dependent on the kind of ceremony you're having: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Secular, or Interfaith. While the modern ceremonies give you carte blanche to write what you want in your ketubah, traditional religious ceremonies (the Orthodox and Conservative) come with strict rules for the ketubah. Here are the differences:

ORTHODOX | The traditional text, this one is for ultra-religious ceremonies and is written in Aramic, not Hebrew. The text, being traditional, unfortunately has nothing to do with romance or tender feelings. It's a religious document obligating the groom to provide for his wife, what her (symbolic) monetary worth is, and what dowry she has. It is to be signed by the two witnesses only (and sometimes the groom).

Being part of a traditional ceremony governed by Jewish law, this text cannot be edited at all. No text in Aramic, Hebrew, or English, can be added. There are strict rules and your Rabbi needs to proofread it with you, because if they find one thing they don't approve of, they can judge the entire document null and void.

There are rabbis who want the Jewish date referred to one way, others that want a specific spelling to the location, and more who want to leave out space to fill in by hand on the wedding day as part of the ceremony. This is why it's important to always consult your officiating Rabbi on the text.

CONSERVATIVE | This is the same traditional text as the above Orthodox, but for one big exception. A paragraph called the Lieberman Clause was added to allow for religious divorce (called 'get'), a possibility unheard of at the time the Orthodox text was first written. Other than that, this text follows the same strict rules as the Orthodox, and your Rabbi should proofread it with you.

With this text, there's sometimes the option to add an English paragraph depending on the preference of your Rabbi, though it's not encouraged.

I offer two templates for the Conservative text, which are the two most popular options in the Diaspora. They are the same text, with slight differences in the phrasing and/or spelling.

EGALITARIAN | Written in Hebrew and with the option to add English, the Egalitarian text references the Orthodox text, only there's no mention of a dowry and both the groom & the bride vow fidelity and support to one another. It levels both parties to equals, while keeping the religious notes in the vows.

Again I offer two templates for the text, and Egalitarian text (Version Two) also adds a few modern vows from the Reform text.

REFORM | This is the most popular text in the Diaspora, and used in religious Reform and non-religious ceremonies alike. Written in Hebrew with an English translation, the Reform text is a step further in treating the bride and groom equally, as well as finally letting them pledge to each other the romantic vows we all know and expect in weddings. A modern text, this can be written as you please, and there are no rules.

I offer two templates for the text, and which can be edited freely by the clients.

SECULAR | Written in Hebrew with an English translation, the Secular text is a completely freeform modern text that has no Jewish references, whether religious or cultural.

I offer two templates of the Secular text, both a short introductory paragraph paired with romantic poems.

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That is the division of the Jewish texts according to religious sect. Secondly, the above text templates can also be tailored to use in INTERFAITH and SAME SEX ceremonies, as the only changes needed are to any religion references and gender-nouns in the Hebrew.

The KETUBAH is not exclusive to Jewish ceremonies, or even to religious ceremonies. It is a cultural phenomena anchored in tradition, which everyone are welcome to adopt and adapt to suit their own vision. I look at my ketubot as beautiful artworks immortalising a couple's love and commitment.

In addition to the above mainstream texts, I also offer: a traditional text dedicated to SAME SEX ceremonies, as well as texts for QUAKER and CHRISTIAN ceremonies.

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To Order Your Own 
H E I R L O O M  P A P E R C U T  K E T U B AH
Contact me here

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sunstone Villa ketubah

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SUNSTONE VILLA
18X24 inches big | Midnight Blue & Gold
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Two years ago I was commissioned to create one of my favorite ketubot to date, which I've named Sunstone Villa.*  
(*I am unfortunately horribly unimaginative when it comes to naming my papercuts. I just draw complete blanks. Any suggestions and ideas are welcome!)

Hildy & Aaron are a lovely couple who wanted a ketubah to celebrate their merging backgrounds and honor their interfaith ceremony. Basically, a great explosion of botany was called for: the Seven Species for Aaron, and flora from the Philippines for Hildy, nestled among flowers symbolising love & devotion. And to make the papercut even more lovely, they asked to include their wedding location - the Sunstone Villa - to commemorate their union. We went through a round of revisions, and the ketubah came out all the more beautiful for it. I especially love the way the villa is peeking out of the roses.

For more photos of this papercut ketubah and others go 
HERE

If you are interested in an heirloom papercut ketubah, feel free to contact me for consultation HERE
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Custom Order: Flowers & Waves \ Four Seasons ketubah

This is a custom design I made for Randi & Barry back in July of last year. How time flies! The original idea was for a small design that will feature all four seasons, a little nod to the couple's home of New England. After the first draft the couple decided to go with a different concept, without their initials, and with an emphasis on flowers and water. I can only describe it as Flowers & Waves!

This commission is a great example for the evolution a custom order sometimes goes through. It also explains why the turnaround for a custom order is quoted between 3-6 weeks; we never know where the creative process will take us. Often times, my clients can have a hard time verbalizing the vision they have for their ketubah. It's my job to help them through the process, so both they and I understand what their vision is.

With all custom designs I start with questions to flesh out the ideas and thoughts of the clients before they even order. Sometimes though, as with the above ketubah, seeing a preview of the design can make the clients think of a new concept instead. It basically helps them themselves understand, as well as describe to me, what they want. A complete change of heart is not ideal, and can lead to added stress for the bride and groom, but that's why I am here. In the end, there's always a beautiful heirloom artwork to cherish!

For more photos of this ketubah & other incarnations of the design go HERE
If you too would like to order a custom ketubah, please contact me HERE 
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Succulents Garden, A Personalized Heirloom Ketubah

One of the popular designs in THE SHOP, this ketubah is personalized for each couple with their own set of initials. Below are photos and images of previous clients and how they chose to personalize their heirloom ketubah.
Read previous post on
Personalizing Your Ketubah  HERE
If you too would like to order a Succulents Garden ketubah, please go HERE 
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