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.
17.09.2020 by Charles Burns
This November I've arranged four more studio days. Each is named after a historical artist. These are the last silhouettists I know beginning with the letter 'A'. You can book sittings here and read about the artists below. (more…)
14.09.2020 by Charles Burns
Nearly twenty-five years ago, early in my career as a silhouettist, I found myself working at a hunt ball alongside another, best-forgotten silhouette cutter. While cutting a silhouette I overheard him say to one of the guests: "It's not that you smell, but could you stand a bit further away please?!" I immediately resolved never to work with him again. (more…)
30.08.2020 by Charles Burns
If you're on my newsletter list I have a small favour to ask. I’m currently planning September’s newsletter on “the socially-distant silhouettist”. It’s an important subject; many artists and entertainers are thinking how to provide their services in both a safe and entertaining manner. For me, this is crucial in rebuilding a battered career! (more…)
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…)
14.06.2020 by Charles Burns
This August I've started scheduling virtual studio days from my new website @silhouettist. To create some variety I'm naming each studio day as a tribute to artists of the past. Some are easy to find out information about, others not at all. (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…)