Three silhouettists

Are you the only artist who does this?

THIS IS A QUESTION I hear a lot. The answer is “not quite…”. Silhouette cutting does occupy a tiny niche in the world of art, but I’m not quite the only one.

Knowing other silhouette artists is often useful. Over the years I’ve cultivated a small network of such artists, both in the UK and overseas.

A network of silhouettists

For larger events I often find that clients want to book more than one silhouettist. This is a good idea for events with 200 guests or more, as it ensures everybody will see at least one of us in action.

Principal among the network is my friend and colleague Michael.

Michael Herbert

Michael and I began working together as the Roving Artist in 2001. Our aim was to introduce the best of silhouette cutting to the corporate and private events market.

Since then we have embarked on a deep and enduring artistic collaboration. I think both of us have learned a lot from each other, both about cutting silhouettes and how to present then at events.

Charles Burns & Michael Herbert
Michael & I working back to back as the Roving Artist in 2012

Michael is always my number-one choice when two silhouettists are needed, or when I’m not available.

A Snippet of Silhouettists?

When two or more silhouettists work together, what is the correct collective noun?

Here are my favourite UK based artists, all of whom I’ve worked with on many occasions over many years. I’m happy to recommend any of them when I’m not free, or to work with them as part of a “snippet” at larger events.

Michael Herbert holding a silhouette

Michael Herbert

ONE GLANCE at the way Michael uses his hands will tell you how he earned his nick-name “The Magician”. His accurate and characterful silhouettes are cut …
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Silhouette artist Alison Russell

Alison Russell

ALISON RUSSELL comes from a family tradition of silhouette cutting. Her American grandmother, Mary-Lou Russell, taught her to cut while she was still a child. Alison’s work …
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Taz Burns

Taz Burns

AS THE DAUGHTER of a silhouettist Taz Burns has been surrounded by the art all her life. She began cutting her own silhouettes in 2011, …
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Steve Abbott

Artist and Historian FASCINATED BY THE HISTORY, Steve Abbott is one of a small band of silhouettists keeping the decorative and beautiful art of the silhouette portrait alive …
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Sarah Goddard

Sarah Goddard

SARAH GODDARD began cutting silhouettes in 2000. She discovered this rare art whilst working at an art gallery in Henley-on-Thames, where she first met Charles. There were only …
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Mark Conlin, silhouette artist

Mark Conlin

SILHOUETTIST MARK CONLIN is an artist from the “old-slowful” tradition of hand cutting silhouettes. With a facile twist and a skilful manoeuvre of the scissors, …
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When is one silhouettist not enough?

When booking entertainment for a sit-down dinner my usual advice is to book one silhouettist for 200 guests.

This doesn’t mean that one silhouettist can physically cut 200 silhouettes in an evening! It does mean that I might expect to visit each of twenty or so tables during the even gin, cutting a couple of silhouettes at each to entertain your guests.

If you have 25 or 30 tables I will endeavour to do the same. However, when numbers approach 40 tables you should consider booking a second artist. 

For very large events (500+) I can arrange a snippet of three or four silhouettists to attend. Silhouette cutting is a very rapid art and ideally suited to this kind of event. 


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