Friday, November 14, 2008

Daniel Sroka from Modern Ketubah

I am honored to have a guest blogger, Daniel Sroka, doing my post today. Daniel owns Modern Ketubah and creates amazing works of art in his Ketubahs. Many of you may have read my previous posts on the ketubah so I am so excited to have Daniel tell about them and showcase some of his beautiful prints.

I feel blessed to be able to surround myself with such talented artist of all types. So I will move on to the Q&A with Daniel.

How long has Modern Ketubah been in business and where are you located?

Modern Ketubah has been in business for over 5 and a half years. I work out of my studio in Morristown, New Jersey, but sell nearly all of my ketubahs online through my website.
Can you explain the tradition behind the ketubah?

The ketubah is a beautiful and meaningful part of a wedding ceremony. It is an illustrated document, signed by the bride and groom, which declares their commitment and love. Originally part of the Jewish wedding tradition, its beauty is now embraced by couples from all different backgrounds. In a Jewish wedding ceremony, it is the official contract between bride and groom, whose marriage officially starts the moment it is signed. But at its heart, the ketubah is a personal document between the bride and groom, a work of art hung in the home that serves as a daily reminder of the vows they have made to each other.

I see that you offer the ketubah for not only the traditional Jewish faith but non denominational and christian faiths as well as same sex marriages. Is this a new trend that you are seeing?

While originally part of the Jewish wedding tradition, couples from all different backgrounds have fallen in love with this beautiful custom. A significant proportion of the ketubahs I create are for Interfaith couples, and a growing number are for non-denominational and christian couples. I also create many ketubahs for same-sex couples. Considering the ongoing struggle they are facing to have the marriages recognized, many gay and lesbian couples feel it is very important to preserving their vows in a ketubah.

How many prints are in circulation of each ketubah that you design?
I have created over 800 ketubahs in 22 designs for couples across the US, Canada and the UK.

How did you get started creating Ketubahs?

I got my start making ketubahs by making one for my own wedding. My fiancée Cara and I spent many weeks searching for the right ketubah. We must have looked through hundreds of designs, but none of them was right. Every ketubah we saw seemed to rely on the same well-worn imagery, and did not hold any special meaning for us.We had just planted our first garden, and I had been photographing the flowers as they came into bloom. I was showing Cara some photographs of a very old rose bush that grew at the side of our house, when we suddenly realized that we had found the imagery we wanted for our ketubah. We felt that this ancient rose bush was a beautiful symbol of marriage: a strong and protective vine, anchoring itself deeply to the ground, that produces flowers of beauty, elegance, and strength. It said more to us about marriage than any of the traditional images we had previously seen, so I created our ketubah from this photograph. After our wedding, I got approached by so many people who wanted a ketubah just like it, that I was inspired to start Modern Ketubah. To this day, the most frequest comment I hear from my customers is "finally, after months of searching, we found a ketubah that feels right.

For more information from Daniel visit his website or contact him.

Modern Ketubah : fine art ketubot of nature : : Daniel Sroka Designs LLC : voicemail/fax 866-285-0164

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