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.

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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First festival successes

First festival successes

Silhouette Secrets seems off to a flying start. We took part in two film festivals towards the end of 2015 and have applied for many more this year. The first two festivals were the Marbella International Film Festival, where we were nominated for Best Documentary, and NiFF Houston, where we won the Best Documentary Award. (more…)

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The Final Cut

The Final Cut

The film is out! I seem to have spent most of my time this summer cooped up in the editing room with Andi, making the final cut of Silhouette Secrets. Silhouette Secrets is a one-hour documentary film in which a modern-day silhouette artist (me) takes a journey back in time to explore the history of his shadowy art. He asks the question: “Where did it come from?” (more…)

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Arrest of an Artist

Arrest of an Artist

While in America last year, filming for the documentary ‘Silhouette Secrets’, we visited Philadelphia to study a 200-year-old automatic silhouette-making machine. On the way my mind lapsed and I found myself driving on the wrong side of the road. (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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Does ‘One’ in Houston mean ‘Go’?

Does ‘One’ in Houston mean ‘Go’?

There seems to be a certain ambiguity over the silhouette speed cutting world record. The main item on our US agenda was a trip to Houston to meet the world’s fastest silhouette artist. Cindi Harwood Rose holds this record, which stands at 144 silhouettes cut in one hour. The film will end with me going to Houston to challenge it. There's only one problem: nobody seems to know the result!

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The Oxford Shark

The Oxford Shark

During filming of Silhouette Secrets last month we were unexpectedly let down by an interviewee in London. We found ourselves, camera crew in tow, with nothing to film on a beautiful spring morning. On a whim we got the Russian motorcycle out of the shed and headed out into Oxford. (more…)

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Digital Selfies

Digital Selfies

As our Indiegogo campaign enters it’s final week I’m posting the promised update... and a request for a tweet! Tomorrow will be Silhouette Secrets' Twitter day, and your chance to win a digital selfie. (more…)

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Free Silhouettes and other silly ideas

Free Silhouettes and other silly ideas

Free silhouettes! I begin this year in a state of high excitement. We have started filming “Silhouette Secrets” in earnest.  This is my first foray into the world of film (apart from occasional TV appearances: Blue Peter, Tales of Tools, Big Brother's Big Mouth etc.) I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience. (more…)

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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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