Paper cut children

Paper cutting- the art of paper cutting

The paper cutting is an art technique in which figures are cut out of paper with scissors. This technique probably has its origins in Asia, where it was first used to paint porcelain tableware. Craftsmen still make small lucky symbols and lucky charms cut out of paper for the occasion of the Chinese New Year.

The technique came to Europe in the 17th century and gained popularity among nobles and courtiers. After a drastic austerity measure by a French finance minister named Etienne de Silhouette, the colors in art were temporarily saved. This is how the silhouette art, known to us, or still called silhouette, came about.

The technique of paper cutting can create great three-dimensional worlds

Paper cut forest

The technique probably originated when painting porcelain in China

Paper cut china porcelain

The color gradient in the background makes the picture all the more mystical

Paper cut dream fairy tale

This artful craft is cultivated and developed in Switzerland

Paper cut folk motif

The motifs are carefully “freed” from the paper with a sharp blade

White paper cut

A silhouette portrait greatly reduces the representation to shadowy outlines. Thus, the essential characteristics of a person are reproduced. The austerity measure became a romantic fashion. It was customary to give such a portrait of the loved one as a souvenir.

The first princely house in Germany in which the silhouette became popular was Darmstadt. Later other courts followed the practical training in paper cutting, which was slightly modified. Minimalism stepped back a bit and made outlines of jewelry and clothing appear on the portraits.

Imaginative creatures can be brought to life from simple paper

Paper cut by Tim Burton

Work of art, craft, technology

In addition to silhouette portraits, there is also the fold-cut technique, in which a sheet of paper is folded in halves, quarters or even smaller pieces and then trimmed.

The silhouette creates a positive and a negative image. You can use the negative as a template for coloring. The positive image can become part of an artistic application or collage. A common and well-known example are the lanterns with fairytale or Christmas motifs.

Although paper cutting art and craft have a long tradition and recognized artistic value, the technique is considered aunty and old-fashioned.

The shadow figures are enough to immediately guess the fairy tale in the picture

Silhouette of the city of Bremen

Even if it looks simple, you need a lot of precision with this technique 

Paper cut leaves

Being able to sign is also an important requirement

Batman silhouette

A keen tailor can well assist your skilled hand

Paper cut creation

In most cases it is worth the effort

Paper cut feather

Also, you need to know that anything in a design can look good if it’s in the right light. Contemporary artists, including the fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, used the silhouette look because of its good recognition value.

We observe a variant of the silhouette in the stencil technique of the graffiti and street art artists of our time. The technique of paper cutting is also widely used in the art of moving images. The cut out animation, which resembles a marionette theater, is still being used successfully in the cinema.

The paper cutting is a unique technique that brings unique results

Paper cut circle

Start with something simple, like this family of four for example

Family paper cut

If you succeed at the job, you may even be able to make a wind chimes yourself with your preferred motifs

Paper cutting yard

In the field of paper cutting there are well-known artists who create complex and masterful works

Paper cut magic