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Posts from the ‘wedding’ Category

Hebrew Calligraphy, Watercolor and The Ketubah

20 February 2008

octavineillustration

The Ketubah pictured was commissioned by a bride and groom from Los Angeles. The wedding took place in June in Bel Air; just the picture of springtime. Creating a forest of flora and fauna, I sought to capture the beauty of blooming California flowers.

The Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract dating back 2000 years. Although traditionally written in Aramaic, in Hebrew the word literally means “it is written.”

The Ketubah is one of the first legal documents securing financial and legal rights to women.

The calligraphy is executed by my own hand. The font chosen is modern and informal. Hebrew calligraphy is done with the same calligraphy pen as one uses with English. As a left-hander, Hebrew calligraphy suits me well as it is from right to left. When executing English calligraphy, I must constantly take care not smear my work with the side of my hand. When writing Hebrew calligraphy I do not have this problem so my work is actually faster, more fluent.

The illustration, design, calligraphy and watercolor of a Ketubah is quite a large job. Poster size (16″ x 20″), each inch is detailed, every centimeter given care. Meant to hang on the wall for life and be kept for generations to come, the Ketubah is a work of art meant to capture a specific time, place and the love of two very unique people.

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.

Art Deco Wedding Invitation

24 January 2008

octavineillustration


An Art Deco wedding. The bride came to me with a clipping from an old calendar and the idea for an oak leaf motif. Her inspiration for her wedding invitation included something in an Art Deco style, hence the clipping from an antiquated Art Deco cafe poster calendar containing a bit of letting she loved. And the oak leaf was symbolic of the San Francisco Bay Area, their home and the location of the wedding.

I developed an Art Deco style alphabet from the small example of about a dozen differing letters. For the oak leaf, I went for a more abstract, cut-out style illustration to offset the Art Deco calligraphy.

Designing, executing the calligraphy and illustration as well as working with the bride and groom was a lovely experience. Feeling truly part of the festivities, I was able to actualize their vision whilst creating my own.

My Newest Endeavor–Silkscreened Bat Mitzvah Invitation

15 January 2008

octavineillustration


This past week I finished printing a Bat Mitzvah invitation which i also illustrated and hand-calligraphed using my very own alphabet. This was a Bat Mitzvah invitation that I also did the printing for. What a job. There were invitations drying all over the house.

I worked with both the mother and daughter to design the final Hebrew calligraphy image you see. The Bat Mitzvah invitation is three layers.

I loved combining an Art Nouveau sensibility with Hebrew calligraphy. The fonts I chose for both the Hebrew and the English were based on 1920s fonts I found whilst traveling in Morocco and France and then further developed.

The invitations were printed on my amazing Japanese Gocco silkscreen. I love it. Someday I will write an ode to the Gocco.

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