NOT EVERYBODY KNOWS what a silhouettist is. When I describe what I do,I’m often met with a blank stare. “You mean, you cut up bits of paper for a living?”
Watching the news of Russian forces rolling into Ukraine a fortnight ago I was embarrassed to realise just how little I knew about the country. I had to look it up on a map! What’s the history, I wondered. Why is this happening? I found I knew almost nothing about either Ukrainian culture or history.
I’m often asked if there’s an easy way to make a silhouette. If you have a mobile phone, yes there is! Here’s an easy project you can do at home during the holidays to make silhouettes of your family. Try it out with your children, parents, friends or siblings. I will show you how to
When people ask, I tell them I accept any challenge. As an artistic philosophy I’d recommend it to anybody. I’ve frequently experienced unexpected but welcome benefits from testing my scissor skills this way.
MY SILHOUETTE CARDS can include your names and even your silhouettes on the front. This is a great way to ensure your guests will remember your wedding every time they see their silhouettes on the wall.
AS LOCKDOWN comes to an end it may soon be possible to host events again. Some clients are asking how I can maintain social distancing whilst cutting a silhouette. I’ll answer this with a short story.
THE ENGLISH SILHOUETTISTTE April Fielding (her description, not mine) has been hard to bring out of the shadows. Until this month, I didn’t even know her name! I only recognised a series of well-cut postcard silhouettes, made in the 1900s, embellished with graphite and initialled “AF”.
OTHO BARDEN was an American artist who cut silhouettes during the summer season at the popular tourist attraction of Rock City at the top of Lookout Mountain, Georgia. He seems to have worked there for many years, probably from the opening of Rock City in 1932 until the mid 1950s.
WHEN GOOGLING “Audax” all you’ll find is information about long-distance cycle racing. However, Audax was also a silhouettist with a career spanning over 40 years. This is why I refer to him as the long-distance silhouettist!
WHO ON EARTH was Mrs Ames? It’s a good question. Considering that only one pair of silhouettes painted by her has ever been identified, researchers have written a surprising amount about this artist (or artists).
HAVE YOU ALREADY MADE PLANS for Christmas? Or are you, like me, completely stuck? I’ve been thinking about silhouette cutting as an online ‘gift experience’ and holding onto the idea that silhouettes still make interesting and personal mementos of the unique times we’re all living through.
BAJ B. IS ONE of my favourite silhouettists. I’ve learned a lot from looking at the best of their silhouettes (I’ve no idea whether Baj was male or female, so will use the non-gendered third person). At their best there are silhouettes I would struggle emulate.