Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Super-busy here at the shop, but thought I'd take a moment to share a few interesting recent projects.

First up is a ketubah, a Jewish wedding certificate.  I have been fortunate to have framed hundreds of ketubot over the years (maybe a thousand!) and I can honestly say that I've never seen two alike.  And that's totally how it should be with ketubot; they are deeply personal documents, and always illuminated with artwork.

"Ketubot are often hung prominently in the home by the married couple as a daily reminder of their vows and responsibilities to each other.
However, in some communities, the ketubah is either displayed in a very private section of the home or is not displayed at all. Various reasons given for this include the fact that the details specify personal details, prominent display may invite jealousy or fears of the evil eye. Historically, the ketubah specified whether the bride was a virgin. In Sephardic communities, it still specifies the actual contributions of the family to the new household and the divorce settlement; Ashkenazi communities have adopted the custom of having set amounts for all weddings.
According to Jewish law, spouses are prohibited from living together if the ketubah has been destroyed, lost, or is otherwise unretrievable.  In such case a second ketubah is made up (called a Ketubah De'irketa), which states in its opening phrase that it comes to substitute a previous ketubah that has been lost."  [source]

This particular ketubah is intricately die-cut and hand-colored.  We chose to elevate the art so a shadow would be cast below. 

This next project is also 3-dimensional.  It is a functional spiral belt designed by Carol Christian Poell.  This was framed simply but elegantly in a brushed nickel finish shadowbox with sidewalls made from the same museum rag mat as the background.  Museum glass was used for clarity.  Belt was sewn to backing, no adhesives were used whatsoever.

Lots of 3-d items last week!  Next up is a fantastic plaster relief by local sculptor Chris Smith.  Profile of a child.  We chose to do this without glazing in a monochromatic modern style.

This pewter hammered moulding is very deep.  Deeper than the relief, even.  This will prevent the plaster from being grazed by passers-by, etc., while in situ on the wall.

See?  About 1/4 above tallest point of relief.

See more of Chris's incredible work HERE.

Below is a painting done long ago by a Parisian relative of a client.  Here's how it was displayed originally, mounted on a linen covered wood panel, and the canvas itself was trimmed with gold leaf tape.

And here it is breathing new life in a baroque silver frame with linen liner.  <3

The last project I have for you is original art by local artist, Melanie Bilenker.  This is miniature art (about 2 x 3") made with the artist's own hair.

Amazing.  I know.

Hair was used as a medium in art in Victorian times, but what Melanie is doing transcends what came before.  I have no idea how she manipulates her medium, but it is done with awe-inspiring precision.  Framed simply in a slender walnut frame, museum rag mat background and sidewalls, museum glass.

Check her amazing portfolio HERE.

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