Several months before our daughter’s wedding I stopped taking new orders so that I could build and silk paint a chuppah canopy for her and my future 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; flaps on 3 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.
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:
Each finished piece was then carefully rolled up in plain moving paper and set into 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. If you are interested in having custom kippot or other wedding items made, please visit THIS PAGE.
For the right price, you might even convince me to paint another canopy! Oh, wait, I did that for my youngest son’s wedding six months later! I’ll post a picture of that one shortly.
And now some photos!!
These photos were after the ceremony … our guests enjoying dancing under the chuppah!
Artist footnote: After this experience, I am totally HOOKED on silk painting. If you want to consider a custom-made chuppah, contact me!