custom papercut ketubah | My Brother's Wedding Gift

February 6, 2020

You & Me Always papercut ketubah by Woodland Papercuts, photo by Adrian Sebal
In September of 2019 my brother married his beloved. It was a beautiful wedding at the Tiberias lakeshore and I was honored to create this symbolic wedding keepsake for them both.

wedding vows keepsake
Creating artwork for your family is never easy. They get a glimpse into the process that my other clients never do. They certainly get to walk in and look at my messy table and half-drawn sketches before I'm ready.😱 Disappointing loved ones is a stressful possibility, for myself and surprisingly them as well. Part of my process with my brother and sister-in-law was to keep reassuring them that their feedback is welcome and won't insult me or hurt my feelings.
After all, I'm here for you and to create a masterpiece for you! Honest communication is necessary for successful creative collaboration - and the door swings both ways. I shifted through ideas and guided my clients to their best ketubah before, gladly so. Put your trust in me and you'll have your dream ketubah! 
In the end, my brother and sister-in-law have a cherished keepsake of their wedding and I got to make a heartfelt gift. Win-win;)
I N S P I R A T I O N 
Handmade Custom Ketubah ~ Woodland Papercuts by Naomi ShiekMy brother and sister-in-law came to my studio months before their wedding date was even set to discuss their ketubah. They poured over previous ketubot and really thought over the text, scale, and details they'd like to have in their artwork.

A ketubah that really caught their eye and became the basis of their own design was ALWAYS & FOREVER. I asked them to break down what drew them to this particular design: They liked the landscape orientation, the layered papercuts, the enveloping trees, and the hidden treasures of the carved motto and symbolic creatures that peppered the scene.

The consultation stage is its own beast and changes from client to client. For some it means a quick email and for others it's a conversation lasting over several days. You don't need a clear picture of what the artwork will look like - leave that to me - but this grants you a moment to consider your individual and shared stories, what binds you together. For my brother and sister-in-law, references to their heritage, familial history, and Israel were all in order.

T H E    D E S I G N 
Their proposal story is pretty magical, with Disney-esque wildlife appearing to witness my brother get down on one knee. I made sure to reference them, along with other symbols of their own love story - from the hidden windmill to the kissing horses.

Even though they gave me a detailed concept list and a reference framework to start from, I had to redraw the artwork after they saw the preview. This is the nature of custom design: I'm a skilled artisan, but I'm not a mindreader. And that's ok!
Handmade Papercut Ketubah for Jewish Wedding by Woodland PapercutsThe first version is similar to the final ketubah only it featured a scenic view of the Galilee. But in Marie Kondo's immortal words ~ it didn't spark that joy within them; they wanted that magical forest feel over the familiar landscape reference. I changed course and created a woodland realm of ancient trees and rustling foliage with hidden treasures thoughtfully placed throughout. They chose autumn colors that gave depth and texture to the artwork. All that together created a wonderland scene that is uniquely Woodland Papercuts.
custom papercut ketubah by Woodland Papercuts by Naomi Shiek
handmade papercut ketubah
40X50cm | 5 colorful layers

photo by Adrian Sebal ketubah by Woodland Papercuts
Since this was a family gift I got to not only bestow it but also witness it in use on their wedding day! The oohs and aahs around the table during the Signing Ceremony were very very rewarding, to say the least. So were the interested questions from the wedding guests! To have family choose your artwork with whole hearts and to see it framed and displayed in their home is extremely gratifying. The ketubahs that I make - keepsake artworks that they are - aren't the norm in Israel. I'm delighted this modern version is appreciated!

ketubah by Woodland Papercuts photo by Adrian Sebal
papercut "wedding keepsake" fox "handmade papercut" ketubah
handmade wedding ketubah by Woodland Papercuts by Naomi Shiek ~ It Was Always eagle family wedding art

ketubah by Woodland Papercuts photo by Adrian Sebal
ketubah by Woodland Papercuts photo by Adrian Sebal
photo by Adrian Sebal
ketubah by Woodland Papercuts by Naomi Shiek
T E S T I M O N I A L 
My sister has been making ketubot for several years now but I never understood the depth and breadth of what she does until I commissioned a ketubah of my own. We were hesitant at first because we didn't want religious bias in our wedding but Naomi explained the concept of the secular ketubah and made the process really inviting and easy from start to finish. We not only received a precious artwork for our home but one that makes us consider and truly appreciate the vows we took for each other. The artwork enhances our pledge and makes it truly magical! 

Ketubah by Woodland Papercuts photo by Adrian Sebal

If you’d like a handmade ketubah for your wedding ceremony or celebration,
please get in touch with me here.
| Wedding photography by @adriansebalweddings

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