Home : Ketubahs : Read All About Ketubahs from Artist Micki Caspi
About the Artist:
Mickie Klugman-Caspi is an Israeli-American artist and calligrapher who has been specializing in Judaica since 1980. Her hundreds of original designs are reproduced on ketubot, greeting cards, Judaic art prints, calendars and more. Among the many sources that inspire Mickie's delicate watercolor designs are traditional Jewish motifs, Persian and Arabic illumination, contemporary graphics, as well as art nouveau and art deco. Being an avid gardener, she loves to incorporate the beauty of nature into much of her artwork.
Mickie studied art at Columbia College in Chicago where she discovered a love for the simple elegance of calligraphy. She spent seven years as a freelance artist and calligrapher in Israel. She currently resides in Newton, Massachusetts with her husband and business partner, Eran, and their children.
THE KETUBAH - the marriage contract - was introduced into the Jewish wedding ceremony approximately 2,500 years ago. It was written in Aramaic, the spoken language of the Jews of the time, so that everyone would understand the contract. To this day Aramaic has remained the language of the traditional Ketubah . In the contract, the husband undertakes to honor, support and maintain his wife, and to live with her in affection and amity. He also states what she will receive in the event of divorce or of his death. The ketubah was developed to protect the Jewish wife and to ensure her future.
Although the traditional text has undergone little change through the centuries, couples today often prefer that the text portray their own spirituality. Mickie's ketubot are available with a variety of texts from the traditional to the modern, to allow you to choose both a design and a text that best reflects your ideas and beliefs.
The ketubah document has attracted artistic adornment through the centuries and has become a significant expression of Jewish art. With the use of calligraphy to ornament the text itself and a vast host of designs to enhance and beautify the border, the ketubah has evolved into a unique document expressing a couple's life together.
How do we choose a text?
Choosing a text can be as difficult as choosing a design. Mickie offers 8 different text choices ranging from the Traditional to the Modern. You should read through all of the texts and choose the one that best reflects your own beliefs and worldview. It would be wise to get your rabbi's or officiant's approval before ordering your ketubah (some rabbis might desire a particular text).
What happens if there is a mistake on our ketubah?
Please fill in your form carefully and have the rabbi or officiant approve it. We cannot be responsible for any mistakes you make in filling out the form. Please make sure we can reach you during the day by phone for any questions we might have. If we make a mistake (it is very rare, but it does happen) we will redo your ketubah immediately at no charge to you. If, however, the mistake is yours, you will be responsible to pay for a new ketubah.
Helpful Hint: Check again that everything is correct, especially the spelling of the name of your mother-in-law to be.
How should we handle the ketubah during the ceremony?
Since the ketubah is actually read during the ceremony, many couples like to display it on an easel. We recommend that you bring the ketubah (you will receive it rolled in a tube) to a framer and ask them to mat it for you. Ask the framer to place a sheet of acetate over the ketubah to protect it from dirty hands and flying bits of spit. The matted ketubah can be placed on an easel during the ceremony and reception to add a splash of color and tradition. You can complete the framing process after the ceremony.
Helpful Hint: Appoint someone reliable at the wedding (a position of honor for someone?) to be in charge of the ketubah. This way you will be sure that it is not accidentally left behind at the end of the celebration, or worse, trampled or lost.
What type of pen should be used to sign the ketubah?
You can use any pen with indelible ink. We strongly discourage the use of fancy fountain or ink pens since these tend to leak, especially when people are not used to writing with them. We have seen horrible ink accidents. Choose a trusty medium ball point pen (any color, although many couples prefer black) to give the ketubah the look of a signed document, which is what it is.
Helpful Hint: Practice signing your Hebrew names on a different piece of paper before you sit down to sign the actual ketubah (English names also if you need to).
How do we fill in a ketubah by ourselves?
If you would like one of the calligraphers at Caspi Cards & Art to fill in your ketubah, please call us or fill in our form online by clicking the personalization link on the left. If your rabbi, cantor or officiant is filling in your ketubah as a contract, we recommend using a black, medium ball point pen. If you are using your own calligrapher to fill in the ketubah, please note that your calligrapher must take full responsibility for any damage done to the ketubah.
To the calligrapher: Among other pens, we have used a Rotring Art Pen with Black Ink Cartridge and a matching nib (depending on the text, we use 1 of 5 different size nibs). If you pencil in guidelines first, please note that erasing pencil marks will remove the coating on the paper and can damage the pre-printed text and art. Erasing is very, very tricky - try not to erase on the pre-printed text at all, as little as possible in general, and as lightly as possible when necessary. We use Hi-Polymer erasers such as Pentel or Staedtler-Mars. You can experiment on the edges of the paper in order to get a feel for how your ink and pen work on the paper.
We strongly recommend that you have us complete the ketubah personalization for you.
How should we display the ketubah in our home?
After framing the ketubah with acid-free matting and backing, as well as UV protection or archival quality glass, you can hang your ketubah in your home. Please do not subject the ketubah to direct sunlight or bright indoor lights, as these can damage the ketubah and lead to fading.