About Harvey Paris

Using only a HAND HELD KNIFE, Paris carves original designs on both wood and leather. What began as Jewish wood carvings has evolved to reflect both the shared nature of humanity as well as our common spiritual heritages.
Whether you are interested in a beautifully decorated ceremonial object, an original piece of art for the home or the work place or a large-scale project suitable for a Place of Worship or Public Space,  Paris can create a unique and original work of art that will be cherished for generations.

All designs are original and copyrighted by Harvey Paris. All photographs are by Anatoly Loshmanov.

Abraham's Gifts

See all of Harvey’s major works on display at the JCC of Greater New Haven from August 20 through October 4th. See their websites for dates of lectures and discussions.

This large bass wood carvings (30’ x 30’) was completed in 2023. Psalm 122:6 is carved as the border with the homes of the residents of Jerusalem highlighted beneath the psalm. Inside the city are symbols of peace. The obvious olives and branches are bordered by a never ending three stranded circle representing Jewish, Muslim and Christian inhabitants all living in harmony. That is worth praying for!

Abraham's Gifts is a 20 page carved leather book. Each page is an original 11” x 14” leather carving.  The carvings illustrates the teachings of Abraham and his impact on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Pictured above are the 20 carvings stitched together. Right to left, the carvings illustrate many of the seminal and shared beliefs of the three religions. The story is told historically from Creation to Judaism, to Christianity, to Islam and finally to a conclusion worthy of a Gift to Abraham.

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This abstract piece, in both wood and leather, was carved in 2020.During this time, the ravages of global fires and floods dominated the news. These environmental issues are the central themes of the carving.

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I(saiah) Had a Dream

I(SAIAH) HAD A DREAM- Originally carved in 2017 on a 30” circle of wood, this piece was up-dated in 2020 to reflect the importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement. As implied by its name, it refers to the visions of peace of both the Prophet Isaiah in Israel and to Martin Luther King in America.

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The Paris Carved Leather Scroll

Last year’s visits to DIA Beacon and Mass MOCA started me thinking about installation art. I immediately saw the possibilities of carving scenes from the Book of Exodus as a leather scroll resembling the Torah.

Phase 1 –The Burning Bush and the Etzei Chaim Wooden Staves
Size - The carving as shown in the photo is approximately 5 feet high X 7 feet long. Each section is tied tightly together for the photo, but the ties can be extended to create a size and shape that best matches the installation space.

Motifs - Right to left

I - In the Beginning (46 inches high X 12 inches wide)
II - God Remembers the Jewish People (46 inches high X 11 inches wide)
III - Burning Bush (46 inches high X 39 inches wide)
IV - Moses, Slow of Speech. Pharaoh, Hardening of Heart (46 inches high X 11 inches wide)
V - Seven Species (46 inches high X 12 inches wide)

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Revelation at Mt. Sinai

Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke, for the Lord had come down upon it in fire. The smoke rose like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled violently. Exodus 19.

This 2 foot by 2 foot carving pushes my “modern phase” even further. Except for the border, which utilizes traditional chip carving technique, most of the remaining cuts (mountain, sky and tent coverings) were carved utilizing non-traditional techniques which I believe created interesting textures and cuts that I have not seen before in chip carvings.

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Memorial/Honorial Plaques

Since seeing Jewish Paper Cuts honoring the deceased, I wanted to create a Memorial/Honorial carving.  My first attempt is In Honor or In Memory of King Solomon.

“We stand before the Gates of Wisdom. The Doors of Justice are beginning to open. The presence of God, the Judge is revealed to us”. This is the center image of “The Wisdom of King Solomon”, a two foot by two foot carving completed in 2014.

Memorial/Honorial Carvings can be custom carved and priced according to size and complexity. Each carving will be a unique representation of the person being honored or remembered.

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Carving for a Cause - Newtown and Mental Health

Harvey removed 26 chips of wood from the inside of a plate and reinserted them onto the outside to create Newtown 26, 2012.  This carving raised over $2500 for mental health services in Connecticut.

To date, he has donated over $6000 to support Jewish Family Service and its vital community programs.

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Arons (Arks) and Bimahs (lecterns)

I have been blessed to be able to carve arons (Torah arks) for Congregation Tehillah in Riverdale, N.Y., Choate-Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT. and Wake Forest University in North Carolina. I also carved the matching Bimah (lectern) for Wake Forrest.


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Ark Carved for Congregation Tehillah

Pomegranate Tree of Life Ark carved for Choate Rosemary Hall.

Photo courtesy of Choate Rosemary Hall.

Examples of Harvey's Work

Challah Board
Challah Board
Let My People Go
Shalom Plaque with Olives
Peace and Promise Grouping
Remembrance-Six Pieces.