The Last Silhouettist

A modern-day silhouettist tells his story. Charles Burns writes about his research into the art and history of silhouette. On the way he meets some fascinating characters, both ancient and modern.

First attempts at filming

First attempts at filming

I am excited to report we have at last started filming Silhouette Secrets. We filmed this interview and "how to cut a silhouette" sequence in front of my wall of silhouette duplicate albums. It is unlikely to be used in the film, but I hope it gives a flavour of what we have in mind. (more…)

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A Film, & the chance of a Square Meal

A Film, & the chance of a Square Meal

When I first discovered silhouettes they seemed like a tiny corner in the world of art, unloved by the fine-art establishment. The thought of a silhouette documentary was hard to imagine. Today, I am amazed by the journey they have led me.  (more…)

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Radio shades

Radio shades

Whenever I feel I've exhausted all the challenges silhouette cutting has to offer, a new one always opens itself up to me.  A week or so ago I was asked to cut a single silhouette. The subject was Tony Blackburn and the challenge was to cut it live on the radio! (more…)

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Some very fast Germans

Some very fast Germans

An interesting challenge was set recently by a client in Germany. He required each of 250 conference delegates to receive a silhouette - cut from their own corporate-blue paper - during a conference dinner.  My initial proposal (based on tried-and-tested advice to allow two minutes per person) was to book four artists.  He replied that he had the budget to book two, Mike and myself, on the understanding that everybody would receive a one-minute silhouette. (more…)

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Silhouette Slide Show

Silhouette Slide Show

I am sending you a silhouette slide show from Japan, full of my favourite silhouettes from the last year or so. I'm currently away on a short break in Osaka (my son is spending a year at university here) but would like to let you know about a couple of showcase events I'll be taking part in on my return to the UK.  (more…)

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Silhouette Workshops and other cutting-edge ideas

Silhouette Workshops and other cutting-edge ideas

I've been getting a number of enquiries about dinner parties, or small meetings, for 20 people or less. One particular event organiser, who called after a client had asked her about silhouettes, was understandably skeptical:"They're only expecting 12 guests" she said"I know how fast you are, you'll only be there for 15 minutes or so, won't you?" (more…)

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