WORKING AS A SILHOUETTIST at events, I do get some odd requests. Such an occasion happened a few weeks ago, while I was cutting caricature silhouettes at a student ball. The event took place at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel near Heathrow in July 2010.
One of the students was planning to make a wedding proposal to his girlfriend that evening. He was getting his nerve up and looking for an original way to do it. Seeing me in action, he asked me to cut a silhouette of them both with him on his knees. This is the result.
At first I thought he was joking, or perhaps that they were already engaged and just wanted a silhouette to commemorate the occasion. However, while I was cutting quite a crowd gathered to see what was going and he did actually pop the question.
Looking at it after the event, it may not be one of my best silhouettes, but I think it’s one of my favourites. Sometimes the story is more important than the finished image!
To everybody’s delight, she said ‘Yes’!
Caricatures are among my favourite kinds of silhouettes to cut at informal events like student balls. You can learn more about them here:
I hope they book me for the wedding. It made me think, not for the first time, that some of the things which happen to a silhouettist would make a good subject for a blog. So here it is, enjoy!
Edit / 21st August 2017 / Charles Burns
Since publishing this blog I received a number of requests to cut silhouettes of couples proposing. Mostly they send photos after the event, which isn’t nearly so interesting but does make for a more reliable silhouette.