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.
America has long been the centre of silhouette cutting today. My connections across the pond are so important to my work as a silhouettist.
MY 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.
WHILE IN AMERICA last year, filming for the documentary ‘Silhouette Secrets’, we visited Philadelphia to study a 200-year-old automatic silhouette-making machine. On the way my mind lapsed and I found myself driving on the wrong side of the road.
AFTER VISITING HOUSTON the Silhouette Secrets film crew were invited to a lunch by SCONE. We met “Silhouette Cutters of New England” at the Wayside Inn, near Boston. We knew nothing of the Wayside Inn’s history or it’s connection with the art of silhouette.
THERE SEEMS to be some ambiguity over the silhouette speed-cutting world record. The main item on our 2014 US agenda was a trip to Houston to meet the world’s fastest silhouette artist: Cindi Harwood Rose. Her record stands at 144 silhouettes cut in one hour. Our film, Silhouette Secrets, is to end with the speed-cutting duel