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Posts from the ‘Bar Mitzvah’ Category

A Font Renewer and Creator

6 February 2008

octavineillustration


I like to think of myself as a font renewer and creator. Cursive, print, italic, gothic, copperplate script ignite a little fire inside. A font tells a story–portraying a mood, feeling and era. To create a symbol that expresses a thought, an idea, an emotion is empowering as each letter serves to create what is in essence, history.

Pictured is an example of a Bat Mitzvah invitation I executed the calligraphy and font design for. The Art Nouveau style font is my very own creation.

Calligraphy in the Modern World

30 January 2008

octavineillustration


I received my first calligraphy set at age eleven from my great aunt Octavine.

As the family correspondent, Aunt Vinee appreciated excellent penmanship and the art of font. Octavine was old fashioned. She wore bloomers and muslin dresses from the 1950s.

Aunt Vinee encouraged me and I found I very much enjoyed the rather “old lady” pastime of calligraphy. I practiced and practiced. I bought alphabet books and taught myself fonts. As a left-hander, I couldn’t follow the instructions given thus I developed my own style and technique.

Once I had the basics of letter formation, spacing, and placement I began to practice Hebrew calligraphy. I was taught the Hebrew alphabet at a young age, so the letters were familiar.

Luckily, I have figured a way to turn my “old lady” talent into a practical art. Finding that Ketubah (Jewish marriage contract), wedding invitations, Bar and Bat Mitzvah invitations, marriage contracts, concert posters, baby announcements and graduation announcements all require the flair of calligraphy allows calligraphy to blossom in the modern world and bring beauty to the everyday.

Wedding Invitations, Calligraphy and Art Nouveau

27 January 2008

octavineillustration


When I was married my chief concern was my invitation. Sitting on the floor of my small lakeside apartment I drafted invitation after invitation. Basing my design on an Art Nouveau perfume bottle circa 1915, I sought to create an invitation that incorporated our Hebrew names, calligraphy and an Art Nouveau or Art Deco design.

My dress was from 1930. The long princess sleeves were cut and the neckline lowered. I found a tuxedo bought from a Fifth Avenue tailor in 1935, cufflinks, a shirt collar and a bowtie. Holding fastidious to my theme, I purchased a pair of ca. 1930s bridal shoes. The wedding invitation had to match.

Maintaining my black and white theme, I placed the Hebrew calligraphy into small banners; the English text in the center. As with many wedding and Bat or Bar Mitzvah invitations, the Hebrew calligraphy is decorative.

Combining the aesthetic of the Art Deco and Art Nouveau periods with my own and my husband’s Jewish traditions allowed the invitation to be truly representative of our wedding day.

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