My first scherenschnitte

scherenschnitte or papercutting of children dancing
This is my first attempt at scherenschnitte or papercutting in the Swiss/German style. I made this artwork for the spring music program at the boy’s school. Since the program will be photocopied, I was thinking about how to create a strong design in black and white and one thing lead to another . . .

As usual I never make a simple first attempt at anything. I had to include people and words, neither of which are easy in any medium. I cobbled together my design with a combination of sketching by hand and sizing and moving around silhouettes and type on the computer to get the general arrangement I wanted. I then printed out my rough and temporarily stuck it to black paper. Rather than use the traditional tiny scissors, I used a new X-acto blade to cut through both the pattern and the black paper, allowing the knife some freedom to vary from the sketch. I cut on my Merry Glo Round light box which is a treat because it spins freely as well as lighting from underneath! I’ve always “drawn” better with scissors than with a pencil. Years of comping concepts for advertising projects and cutting the occasional stencil has made me pretty handy with the X-acto!

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the result. I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot of scherenschnitte as it is a bit hard on the hands, but I don’t think this will be the last time either. I took inspiration from several blogs of people who take scherenschnitte much more seriously and do amazing work, particularly this one, another Cindy.

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  1. Cindy Mindy Pindy’s avatar

    Good job! Figuring out how to make things silhouettes is tricky.

  2. Snippety Gibbet’s avatar

    That is your first scherenschnitte??? Wow. You did an amazing job! jan

  3. Kathy Keiser’s avatar

    This art reminds me of what you made when you were five or six years old. You folded paper and cut it by your hand. When it was opened it looked four or five children holding hands. It used to amaze me what you could create without any patterns. You always made very unique things.

    Well done!

  4. Frogginette’s avatar

    This is absolutely beautiful. Very inspiring!

  5. Kelly’s avatar

    WOW!!! That turned out very awesome!

  6. Nikki LaCrosse’s avatar

    You. Are. Amazing! I can’t even imagine how hard that was to do!

    1. Cindy’s avatar

      Thanks Nikki. Honestly the actual cutting wasn’t that bad. Putting the pattern together was the hard part for me since, as I’ve said before I can’t really draw, I have to use tons of reference photos anytime I draw anything. I just have this problem with getting ideas for things I really have no clue how to do. I can’t get it out of my head so I go for it!

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