“Scherenschnitte”, or scissor cutting, is not very well known in this country. The art was introduced here in the 1700’s by immigrants from Switzerland and Germany. Like much of our art during this time, the style changed and American cutwork became very primitive in style. Today, only a handful of artists in this country practice the original, intricate, European style of scissor cutting – my specialty.
In my art, I use acid-free white, text paper or imported black French silhouette paper. Most of my scissor cuttings are cut freehand, from one piece of paper, using European surgical scissors. Occasionally, I will also add multiple layers of sculpted paper on top or below the base cutwork to add focal points of color or to achieve a dimensional effect. My work differs in one important element from the old European and American cuttings…I never completely attach the cuttings to the back mat. Rather, I float them on the mat to create shadows and a 3-dimensional effect that I feel is important to the final composition.
Kid Friendly! Watch as a cutting is started then take it home and finish it yourself. Learn about the history of this almost lost art.