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.

Trench Life in Silhouette

Trench Life in Silhouette

After watching Silhouette Secrets, recently launched on Amazon, people often ask: what sparked my interest in silhouettes? It isn't such an easy question to answer.  However, my mind often returns to this silhouette, which has been in my family for years. It may well be the first silhouette I ever saw. (more…)

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A silhouettist’s approach to data

A silhouettist’s approach to data

What should a silhouettist's approach to data be? This question has been much on my mind recently. I'm not alone; the launch of GDPR in Europe – and the subsequent wave of reply-or-unsubscribe emails – has got everybody thinking. What kind of data do I use? For me, the question has caused me to reexamine some of my most fundamental ideas about the role of silhouettes in society.  (more…)

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A silhouette of Marie Antoinette

A silhouette of Marie Antoinette

Last Wednesday I picked up an eighteenth-century silhouette by Isabella Beetham. Beetham is a well-known Georgian artist and her work is much prized by collectors today. She is something of a feminist icon. (more…)

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The European Art of the Silhouette

The European Art of the Silhouette

In the midst of the referendum debate I would like to draw your attention to the European Art of the Silhouette. Every so often I am asked to appear as a guest speaker about silhouettes and their history. (more…)

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Tales of a Wayside Inn

Tales of a Wayside Inn

After visiting Houston the Silhouette Secrets film crew were invited to a lunch by SCONE. We met "Silhouette Cutters of New England" at the Wayside Inn, near Boston. We knew nothing of the Wayside Inn's history or it's connection with the art of silhouette. (more…)

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Dai Vernon and the double-dip recession

Dai Vernon and the double-dip recession

A quick update to let you know that, taking our inspiration from Dai Vernon, we've taken a last-minute stand at the Square Meal "Venues & Events" exhibition at Old Billingsgate this week.   (more…)

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Painted silhouettes and Mr Charles

Painted silhouettes and Mr Charles

I am feeling very pleased with myself having just sent the manuscript for my book to the publishers this morning, full of painted silhouettes.  I can sit back and relax for the first time in many weeks. (more…)

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More about hollow cutting

More about hollow cutting

I recently posted some hollow-cut silhouettes by an eighteenth-century English artist called Sarah Harrington. Since then I've been experimenting with hollow cutting myself. It's an authentically antique form of silhouette cutting and so might work well at period costume balls. Especially those with an eye to historical accuracy. (more…)

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Sarah Harrington’s hollow-cuts

Sarah Harrington’s hollow-cuts

I recently came across the work of a talented artist called Sarah Harrington and her hollow cut silhouettes. Sarah Harrington was professional silhouettist who worked during the latter part of the eighteenth century.  What struck me in particular about about her work, apart from her obvious love of hats, is that they are all cut inside-out.  (more…)

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Silhouette Blurb

Silhouette Blurb

People know very little about silhouettes. For this reason I like to include a little background information on the back of my silhouette cards.  I do update this silhouette blurb from time to time, so here is the latest version. (more…)

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