Hillel Smith

Jewish papercuts

Papercutting has been used as an art-making technique by Jews for centuries. These pieces nod to that heritage while putting my contemporary spin on style and materials. Contact me for purchase information.

See also ketubas for more papercut pieces, as well as the various papercut Purim boxes in the Judaica section.

Hebrew Papercut Esh fire Hebrew Papercut Esh fire

Esh is the Hebrew word for fire. This piece is cut from four sheets of colored paper. The ligature, or the linkage between the two letters, evokes a decorative lettering style used in Sephardic illuminated manuscripts.


Hebrew Papercut Mayim water Hebrew Papercut Mayim water

Mayim is the Hebrew word for water. This piece is cut from four sheets of colored paper and was made as an accompanying piece for the Esh above.


Chai Papercut watercolor Chai Papercut watercolor

The word Chai, meaning "life," has the numerical value 18. This piece was commissioned by a husband as a gift to his wife on the occasion of their 18th wedding anniversary.