I was recently asked to design and build a Jewish wedding Chuppah. Their an integral part of the wedding ceremony and provide a spiritual space under which the vows takes place. The four columns in my design each represent an archangel and each archangel represents different attributes. The first is Raphael, “God heals”. This has been represented with a cylindrical trellis like structure which provides a framework for a jasmine plant to grow within. Archangel Uriel, “Light of god” has been designed to emit a golden light through a blown glass dome proving both luminance and subsequently guidance. The third archangel is Gabriel, “Strength of god”. Gabriel has taken the form of a table to provide somewhere for the registry book and wine to be placed. The top of Gabriel has been engraved with concentric patterns which have been filled with granite dust. The granite is there to represent the strength of Gabriel. On the outside architectural forms have been lifted from my clients local synagogue, the internal pattern has been formed from the clients initials with the wedding date set in the centre. The branches pierce through the table top and in turn this offers stability and “strength” to them. The final archangel is Michael, “Who is God like”. Michael is known to represent family so the names of my clients closeted relatives have been carved and gilded on the walnut column. The top brass cone contains the names of deceased family members through which a light is emmited to honour them.
Twenty four ash branches have been laminated and these rise up for each column to suspend a tallit prayer shawl, the shawl is a vital part of the structure as it symbolises the presence of God.