The Hand Painted Ketubah

By Petal Mashraki

For Judaica

When deciding on which kind of ketubah decoration to have on your marriage contract you have several options ranging from a digitally printed standard design to an original piece of artwork created exclusively for your Ketubah. This is perhaps the most expensive option as the ketubah artist needs to devote several weeks and sometimes even months to your ketubah. It is also a piece of art which the artist will not be able to profit from by copying and printing several times to sell to other potential clients. However it will definitely be the most beautiful and  unique Ketubah that you could possibly get.

 How to get a Hand-painted low-cost Ketubah

  • Perhaps you could come to an agreement with the Ketubah artist that she can scan and digitally copy the art work before handing it over to you. Then she can sell the printed design to other couples.  If you give her permission to copy the Ketubah and reuse the printed design for other couples you may be able to get the price down.
  • You could also find a Ketubah artist who has hand painted Ketubot already made not specifically for you but still hand painted.
  • Have your hand painted Ketubah painted onto the printed text instead of having the calligraphy done especially for you.

How to find an artist of hand painted Ketubot

If you don’t know where to find Ketubah artists in your area you have two choices, either ask at the local Rabbinate/synagogue or search online. You could order a hand painted Ketubah online and with the technology we have today you can communicate with the artist online, by Skype and also exchange samples by email. So it’s possible to reach the same results ordering a hand painted Ketubah online as you would get ordering it in person. If you can find a Ketubah artist in your area then visit them and negotiate the Ketubah assignment in the same way as you would online. Ketubah artists often also paint “Blessing on the Home” art work and other illustrated prayers, so your local Judaica store could also point you in the right direction.

How to buy a hand painted Ketubah

After you’ve communicated with the Ketubah artist and established that they can produce the kind of Ketubah you want then you need to get a quote. A hand painted Ketubah could cost from $1000USD and ideally it should be ordered at least 8 weeks in advance.
You need to verify that your Ketubah design will be acceptable to the Rabbi or other officiate conducting your wedding ceremony.
The next step is to give the artist an idea of the style of Ketubah design you want.
If you have any particular artistic style you are fond of (modern, romantic, art-deco etc) let them know. Are there any motifs from your ancestry you wish to include – a family crest,  tartan,  etc?
Do you want to use motifs associated with the geographical area that your family comes from? These can either be the motifs used on Ketubot in your country or origin of symbols and images of the area itself. Do you live a particular lifestyle that you would like to display in the Ketubah?
If you aren’t Jewish or if you and your partner are of different faiths you can include illustrations showing the coming together of these two faiths. You can also have the meaning of your names incorporated into the Ketubah illumination.

There is no question that a hand painted Ketubah is the most beautiful kind of Ketubah and for some couples worth the investment. They can be made a particular size and shape and designed to suit your home as a piece of framed wall art to be treasured and displayed for generations.

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3 responses to “The Hand Painted Ketubah

  1. Nice, and unique for sure.

  2. Very nice. This is something new to me. Thanks for sharing this information about the hand painted Ketubah

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