Our Daughter’s Wedding

Our daughter was married on Sunday, May 29, 2016 and, as many of my customers know, I stopped taking new orders at the end of 2015 so that I could build and silk paint a chuppah canopy for her and my new son-in-law.

This is the original sketch of what I was aiming for — the poles were to be 4″ x 4″ cedar stained and sealed with 2″ x 6″ cross beams.  The canopy would have a large tree painted underneath where the couple could see it and flaps on the sides would have Hebrew blessings.  Note: I intentionally left out all the pictures of me sanding and staining the poles.  I was in my dirtiest clothes in my garage.  No one really wants to see that!



I built a stretcher frame from PVC pipe for painting the silk.



Here is the sketch of the main design; it is two trees that twist together.



And here I am painting away …chuppah-02


Here is the finished painting:



The side panels were done in much the same way except that I substituted different sizes of the PVC to make the frame the right size.  The lettering was enlarged on the computer and pages pieced together.  Then it was lightly transferred to the silk in pencil before painting.  The blessings were:

Front: “This is my beloved, this is my friend.”

Right Side: “I betroth you to me forever”

Left Side: “May the Lord bless you and keep you.”



Each finished piece carefully rolled up in plain moving paper and steamed with a bamboo steamer on the stove for an hour to set the colors.



And here is the frame assembled upside down in my garage (don’t look at all the unfinished projects!)  Each corner was drilled, bolted and numbered so that the crew at the venue could put it together easily.


And then came hours and hours of pressing each piece, ironing a fusible cotton backing, hemming and stitching it all together.  The florist did an amazing job of decorating!

I also made gold silk kippot for the groom, Rabbi, both dads and all the groomsmen, embroidered the velvet bag for their “breaking” glass and made a mezuzah from the glass shards.



And now some photos!!

Circling one another before the vows.

The wedding party.

The first kiss!

The recessional!

These photos were after the ceremony … our guests enjoying dancing under the chuppah!




Here they are dancing to their songSteal Your Heart by Augustana.


Artist footnote:  After this experience, I am totally HOOKED on silk painting.  If you want to consider a custom-made chuppah, contact me!