I have personally attended 3 weddings that all happen to have chosen one of Ruth’s ketubahs, and it is no surprise. She comes from a family of religious scribes and has worked as a Judaica artist for over 30 years.
What has inspired your ketubah art work?
William Morris is reputed to have said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” By making ketubahs, I fulfill Morris’ advice. I’ve always loved calligraphy, both Hebrew and English. I also love creating with pens, pencils and knives. My art is often inspired by poignant and moving biblical phrases. Making ketubahs is a natural fusion of all these loves.
Does the fact that your art is on a Ketubah affect the design? Or does the design come first?
The design is always predicated on its being for a ketubah. I put myself in the position of an engaged person searching for that special ketubah design. At the same time, my drive to create art I love is fulfilled. I hope other people will love my designs as much as I love creating them.
Are there any other kinds of work you are interesting in or currently working on?
I’ve designed sand-blasted glass, stained glass, Judaica needlepoint, and almost anything that can be done with or to paper. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on Judaica papercuts. The first one is always meticulously designed, hand cut and coloured over months to ensure that the affordable laser cut copies show the same level of craftsmanship.
“…the local flowers have inspired giclee floral border designs. Jerusalem has become my artistic muse.”
Ruth moved from Toronto, Ontario, in the summer of 2011, which has definitely affected her designs.
“The sights, sounds, smells and spirit of Jerusalem have a strong influence on me; not always consciously. I’ve recently completed a papercut on understated gold paper of the gates and houses of the Old City (to the left). A papercut of arabesque foliage and Middle Eastern arches is in production and I am currently working on a design influenced by the decorative patterns found in old architectural latticework. Even the local flowers have inspired giclee floral border designs. Jerusalem has become my artistic muse.”
I cannot wait to see these upcoming ketubah designs. They sound so inspired by the beauty of Jerusalem, and I’m sure they are going to be just as popular as her other intricate paper cuts.
For more of Ruth’s work check out her site: judaicabyruth.com