Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fresh ideas I can relate to: Jeanette Kuvin Oren

copyright - Jeanette Kuvin Oren
The art of paper cutting has a special place in my heart. It is steeped in tradition that has found its way into both Ashkenazi and Sephardic folk art going back to the 15th century and perhaps even earlier. Interestingly Ashkenazi and Sephardic designs were in fact quite different in style, the first being very decorative, filling every space with intricate designs, while the latter being less complicated and simpler in symbolism.

In the 20th century, this art form had a rebirth of sorts. Today there are many artists pushing the limits of this craft to new levels.

Ketubah - copyright Jeanette Kuvin Oren
The work of Jeanette Kuvin Oren is an example where paper cut technique meets fiber art/stained glass/ laser cut metal in a blend of ancient tradition and modern creative brilliance. The breadth of her portfolio and the lengths to which she is undeterred by the various material limitations is very inspiring.

Torah cover - copyright Jeanette Kuvin Oren
Jeanette is self-trained in all of these mediums. After completing a Masters degree in Public Health and most of her PhD in Epidemiology at the prestigious Universities of Princeton and Yale, she decided to go with her passion full time — creating commissioned Judaic art and graphic design. Her accomplishments are substantial. She has created more than 350 installation pieces worldwide, in many mediums including mosaics, fiber art, paper cutting, painting, laser cut metal and sometimes combinations of these mediums. Aside from large installations, she also does commissions for individual ketubot as well as other Judaica related fiber art.

Chuppah - copyright Jeanette Kuvin Oren
I came across her work as I was doing some research on paper cut ketubah design. As I mentioned, I really love this craft, and I really appreciate the symbolism of using an age-old tradition to create unique and meaningful ketubah design for today’s modern couples. Her integration of fiber art with paper cut technique especially intrigues me. Her work in this area shows not only her creativity, but also her knowledge of craft at the highest level.

Laser cut metal gates - copyright Jeanette Kuvin Oren
Ketubah - copyright Jeanette Kuvin Oren
You can find out more about Jeanette and see more of her work on her website. Here is her facebook page, and a link to her shop. If you spend some time looking at her work, I believe you will be as inspired as I was.

Ketubah - copyright Jeanette Kuvin Oren
There are several other paper cut artists I am going to be writing about soon. There are too many amazing artists out there, to limit myself to sharing only one!

Until next time!

(all images copyright to Jeanette Kuvin Oren)


  1. That's my chuppah! Best ever -- love it!!!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      You are so lucky! Absolutely stunning!

  2. Wow, wow! Just wow! Thanks for sharing yet more inspiring art. How lucky was Sarah B to have a chuppah like that?