Enjoying the workshop

Silhouette workshops are all about fun

I’VE ALWAYS LOVED offering silhouette workshops. I’m aware that “having a go” an be a daunting prospect, particularly if you can’t draw. Yet if I put a pair of scissors in your hand the results may surprise you.

Silhouette Workshops: Have a Go!

Silhouette demonstration
Charles demonstrates the cutting of a silhouette at the start of the workshop

From a simple 15-minute exercise in ‘having a go’ during a conference break-out session, to an in-depth look at antiquated silhouette machinery, my silhouette workshops offer a bizarre combination of artistic challenge, educational interest and general hilarity.

The challenge lies in taking people out of their comfort zone. I do this by showing them a new way of working with line and shape. Delegates will end up comparing each other’s noses to their own amateur efforts at cutting them.

Cutting a silhouette requires an advanced sense of spatial aptitude. I’ll help you easily identify those who have this ability during a silhouette workshop.

Conference workshops

I can tailor a silhouette workshop to a wide range of events. These include conferences, team-building events and even ‘silhouette parties’.

I’ll begin by asking for a volunteer from the audience and demonstrating how to cut a simple silhouette head. I’ll use folded paper and a pair of scissors to cut the first silhouette, before distributing scissors and black paper around the room and asking each delegate to find a partner. They’ll all be asked to cut a timed, two-minute silhouette of each other. One will pose, the other will cut.

So far, so simple. From here on it all goes wrong! Before long the room will be full of embarrassed laughter as people begin to see their partner’s portraits!


Cutting silhouettes at a workshop
Having a go at cutting a silhouette. What is it about noses that is always so funny?

What to expect

At the end delegates give one copy of their silhouette to their partner and retain a copy for themselves. Everybody will then mount their silhouettes into pairs into folding souvenir wallet cards, which can be branded to suit your event if required. You can display these mounted silhouettes around the room! If so, you might like to consider awarding a prize for the best (or the worst) silhouette of the day.

Silhouette workshops of this kind are not a serious attempt to teach the art of silhouette cutting.  They are an opportunity for delegates to enjoy the art for themselves. No previous artistic experience is expected or required, However, it’s not unheard of for somebody to discover a previously hidden artistic talent!


Silhouette workshop group photo
Delegates pose with their silhouettes at the end of the workshop (photos by SuePix.)

I do offer longer, more in-depth workshops. These are an opportunity to create impressive silhouettes with a variety of reproduction eighteenth-century equipment. They will be of interest to museums, schools and art societies seeking to run interesting educational events.

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