Silhouette Cutting by The Roving Artist

IF YOU have attended an event recently – perhaps a friend’s wedding or your company Christmas party – you may have met a silhouette artist. If so, you probably came away with a small, black, cut-paper portrait and thought it all a lot of fun.

The art of cutting profile portraits with scissors is an old English craft with a fascinating history. It died out in Victorian times – after the invention of photography – and today is almost totally unknown. 

Yet silhouette cutting still has much to offer. In today’s world, where technology is all, there is something captivating about such a simple art. All a silhouettist needs is paper, scissors and a quirky skill. Driven by a belief in the future of his art, Charles Burns – The Roving Artist – has taken this lost craft and re-invented it for the twenty-first century. Teaming up with fellow silhouettists, Michael Herbert and others, he has created a flexible team of artists working at events all over the UK and abroad. 

The artists combine traditional skill with modern, stylish presentation. Whether you need a single silhouette cutter for a wedding, or a team of artists to make 500 silhouettes at a gala dinner, The Roving Artist can provide.

Outdoor silhouettes cut by the Roving Artist


CHARLES BURNS began his career as a Covent Garden street artist. Today he’s the UK’s busiest silhouette artist and cuts his silhouettes at some of the most prestigious events in the land.

With his experience and expertise the likenesses are extraordinary. Working with just a pair of scissors – and a pocketful of paper – he will capture your portrait in just a minute or two.

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Silhouette Secrets

Silhouette Secrets postcardA modern-day silhouettist’s journey into the surprising world of the shadow portrait.

Charles’ latest project is an entertaining TV documentary about the art and history of silhouette cutting. It was made in partnership with Andi Reiss.

The film came out at the end of 2015. It is doing well in film festivals around the world, winning Best Documentary in both Houston and Barcelona. More information, and some clips from the film, are on the Silhouette Secrets Facebook Page.

We are currently looking for TV screenings, both in the UK and overseas. For distribution enquiries please get touch.

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Running Man