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Sheryl Klein Aronson creates original papercuts and colored pencil drawings, often combined in the same piece of art. Most of her art reflects her deep connection to her Jewish roots.

What is Sheryl’s background?

Sheryl moved around the United States as a child, growing up mostly in El Paso, Texas. At the age of 16, she went to Israel with her Temple Confirmation class, starting a lifelong love of Judaism, from which she draws inspiration for her artwork. After completing college, Sheryl moved to Israel, spending 2 years at Kibbutz Yahel, the first kibbutz of the Reform Movement. She then moved to Jerusalem, where she lived for 3 years. She worked for 2 years with Catriel, a Jewish artist who made Jewish ceremonial objects out of a variety of woods, inlaid with silver, ivory and mother-of-pearl. In 1984, Sheryl returned to the United States, where she began creating her own style of Jewish ceremonial objects out of wood, and expanded to include jewelry and boxes. She won numerous awards, and her work sold throughout the world, including in an auction at Christie’s in London.

What is Papercutting? Papercutting is the art of cutting paper into intricate designs using scissors or a sharp knife. It has been seen in a number of communities throughout history, including China, and Germany, where it is known as Scherenschnitte. In the Jewish world, papercutting became popular in the 18th century to decorate Italian ketubot (marriage contracts). In the 19th century Eastern Europe, papercuts were used to decorate, homes, synagogues and the sukkah. Most often, they were made by yeshiva students and teachers, exclusively a male art. In North Africa papercuts were used as amulets. Sheryl creates original designs on Jewish themes, and uses an Exacto knife to make her papercuts. She buys the blades by the 100’s, changing the blade often to keep the cutting edge sharp.

What is the difference between a papercut and a lasercut? A papercut is an original work of art, done by hand. A lasercut is to a papercut as a print is to an original painting. To make a lasercut, an original papercut is made, then a machine reproduces the papercut to make copies.

Why colored pencil? People often think of colored pencil as a child’s drawing medium, like crayons. Over the years, colored pencils have become more sophisticated, and now come in a variety of different consistencies and hardnesses. Some brands have 120 or more different colors. In recent years, colored pencil manufacturers, at the urging of colored pencil artists, have been working to develop colors that are lightfast, able to retain their color over time, to maintain the integrity, beauty and value of the art. Sheryl enjoys the control she gets with colored pencils. By varying the pressure and angle of the pencil, and by blending and layering the colors, she can create an endless variety of textures and effects.

What else is Sheryl involved in? Sheryl is also involved in a variety of other creative endeavors. She taught 7th graders at Temple Israel in Akron, OH to make their own tallitot in preparation for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. She also taught stained glass with 8th graders, and Jewish papercutting and Hebrew Calligraphy at the community Hebrew High School. She has written a Tu B’Shvat Seder and services for Havdalah and Tashlich (a ceremony for casting your sins into the water on Rosh Hashanah), and co-wrote a Tu B’Shvat play. Sheryl is an occupational therapist, working in a psychiatric hospital. She is very happily married, and is the step-mother to 2 wonderful young men. She and her family built a cabin in the woods where they like to hike and relax.  Sheryl writes a blog, http://sherylaronson.blogspot.com about her art, Sjogren's Syndrome, living with chronic illness, and coping using art and other means.

E-mail: sheryl@sherylsart.com © 2010 Sheryl Aronson

Notice:  All artwork on these pages has been copyrighted by the artist.  It is illegal to copy these images without written permission.  Contact Sheryl@SherylsArt.com, or 330-929-7437.