A modern-day silhouettist tells his story. Charles Burns writes about his explorations into the art and history of silhouette. His mission is to bring this often-overlooked art to a wider, appreciative audience.
28.07.2020 by Charles Burns
Did I mention that I was building a time machine? I’m delighted to report that my silhouette time machine is now live and active, and that you can use it @silhouettist The concept is simple, to make my silhouettes available across all timezones. It does this by guiding people to one of my virtual studio days. (more…)
22.06.2020 by Charles Burns
The time-travelling silhouettist sounds like a character from a steam-punk extravaganza. I'd love to imagine I could be that man! Sadly, none of us can really travel in time. Yet curiously, the quirky craft I practice is beginning to make me feel like I'm doing just that. (more…)
28.02.2020 by Charles Burns
As an artist interested in science I’ve always been fascinated by symmetry. As a silhouettist I rely completely on symmetry, my art would literally not exist without ti. I’d like to share some of that fascination by exploring a certain weird symmetry which infuses our lives. . (more…)
15.02.2020 by Charles Burns
I heard about Inger Eidem long before I knew her name. Whilst cutting silhouettes at events I'd occasionally meet people who'd tell me about silhouettes they had done in their childhood. Apparently the artist cut through two pieces of paper at the same time, one of which became a portrait and the other a caricature. Wait, what?! Is that even possible?
11.12.2019 by Charles Burns
As an artist interested in science I'm aways fascinated by weird pseudo-scientific ideas of the past, especially if they involve silhouettes. Once which caught my eye recently is the Prosopographus. In this post I'm going to take you back in time to see if it can be brought back to life. I’m looking for ideas to help me design a silhouette machine. A 200 year anniversary. I’m going to take you back exactly 200 years.
03.09.2019 by Charles Burns
For the last few weeks I’ve been toying with an idea for a new book. I'm thinking about a picture book, a “guess the silhouette” collection of cuttings. It's the kind of book I hope somebody would love to receive in a Christmas stocking. (more…)
17.03.2019 by Charles Burns
I began playing with an en grisaille portrait many years ago. At the time, I was experimenting with traditional techniques for adding gold details (known as embellishing) and began scribbling pencil notes on my white copies. I began to find these white copies more interesting than the finished silhouettes! (more…)
21.10.2018 by Charles Burns
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…)
09.10.2018 by Charles Burns
Our film Silhouette Secrets includes a cameo appearance by Paul Daniels. This interview - our Paul Daniels cameo - was a late addition. We were looking for a magician to talk about Dai Vernon, the celebrated father of close-up magic, who earned a living as a street silhouettist during the Great American Depression. (more…)