Letterpress printer and artist Jenna Philpott adds a magical golden touch to a Jewish couple’s wedding celebration and Ketubah.
My husband’s coworker knew that I had a letterpress printing press. I had worked with him and his wife on other smaller projects, such as a custom stationery set for a house-warming gift and the like. Their son is in Rabbinical School at Hebrew University in Cincinnati. When their son got engaged, he asked for a special Ketubah.
A Ketubah is essentially a wedding contract used within the Jewish Tradition as a central part of the wedding ceremony. As I also paint and draw, so the family thought the letterpress plus unique artwork would be a great way to celebrate their son’s marriage.
My favorite part was the collaborative nature of the work. I am not Jewish and could not read the language either. I relied heavily on their community and mine to figure out the bits and bobs. It was also difficult to find just the right font for the couple so I made my own. The text makes the shading of the full pomegranate in the background.
I had 3 fluent speakers review the text multiple times to make sure I got it right! I drew 613 pomegranate seeds to symbolize the 613 commandments in the Jewish faith. I then had my 4 kids and even my hairdresser help me count the seeds while I got a few highlights in! HA! My letterpress mentor helped me with my paper selection (Wild 220# white by Neenah).
Rebecca at Boxcar Press was a patient gem throughout and helped me piece the work so that I could print it just right on my C&P. After printing each section, I hand dusted the piece with gold dust to add shimmer and interest without high shine.
Ultimately, I became friends with the whole family and was invited to a wonderful wedding weekend. It was a fun, complex project that made my heart and talents sing (and my feet dance at the reception!).