Silhouette worksop delegates

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, 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. We will let them experience a new way of working with line and shape. Delegates 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. Those who have this ability can be easily identified during a workshop of this kind.

Conference workshops

Silhouette workshops can be tailored to a wide range of events. These include conferences, team-building events and even ‘silhouette parties’.

The artist will ask for a volunteer from the audience and demonstrate how to cut a simple silhouette head. He will use folded paper and a pair of scissors to cut the first silhouette. Delegates will then be asked to find partners. The artist will distribute scissors and black paper around the room. Each pair of delegates will 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. These are mounted in pairs into folding souvenir wallet cards (branded to suit your event if required). They can either be displayed around the room or simply kept by the delegates. 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.)

We 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.

A collection of odd silhouettes

Amateur silhouettes
A collection of silhouettes, all of Charles. They were cut at a variety of events and workshops in the last few years.

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