Ink, Paper, Scissors: The materials behind your custom, handmade ketubah

An artist’s materials are of the utmost importance, especially when creating a work of art meant to endure at least as long as your lasting relationship.  Ketubah Graphia seeks the best quality and most environmentally conscious materials possible.  

Paper – I’ve tried a plethora (love that word) of papers for calligraphy but in the end, Arches watercolor paper wins. I use cold-pressed, 140 lb. in either size 16” x 20” or 22” x 30”.  It’s manufactured from pure cotton fiber, and Arches papers have been mold-made in the same papermill in France since 1492, so you know they’re doing something right. And the deckled edges are a key added touch.  The durability and fact that Arches paper is acid-free, pH-neutral, gelatin-sized, and air-dried is important for a document as important as a ketubah.

Inks – I favor FW Artist Inks from Daler-Rowney.  I love how the inks lay down so smoothly and consistently on the top of the watercolor and the range of both opaque and pearlescent inks available.

Pen Nibs – I use Speedball nibs#C-4 and #C-5, depending on the size of the text I’m writing

Glue – For the papercut details of my ketubot, I use  Lineco Neutral Ph Adhesive.  It dries transparent, creates a permanent bond and most importantly is archival.

All ketubahs include a permanent, archival ink pen--I like Sakura's Pigma Micron pens, .005 size tip--for signing during your ceremony and a white eraser for erasing pencil lines for signatures. These are the materials recommended by Ketubah Graphia for archival purposes and to avoid ink fading over time or negatively  affecting the paper in any way.