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Paper cutting

Paper cutting is the art of cutting intricate designs from a single piece of paper. It is a craft that has expanded around the world to many different cultures.

Creative paper cutting : basic techniques and fresh designs for stencils, mobiles, cards, and more
edited by Shufunotomo.
Boston, Mass. : Trumpeter, c2010.
Transform a simple sheet of paper into a delicate snowflake, a sweet flower, or a dainty doily-or create an enchanted forest using a modern twist on the traditional technique for making paper dolls. Paper cutouts get a fresh look in this contemporary approach to the practice of transforming paper into art. Itís full of clever and cute designs and a range of different cutting techniques that you can use to make your own cutouts for display, decoration, or embellishment. Offering a range of styles, this book presents paper cutting techniques through clear step-by-step instruction, detailed diagrams, and templates. Once youíve mastered the basics, creative uses for paper cutouts are offered, including as cards, gift wrap, mobiles, collages, stencils, garlands, and more. Make the paper cuts in this book and add a creative touch to your home, gifts, or projects.
     
Silhouettes : contemporary paper cutting projects
Sharyn Sowell.
New York : Lark Books, c2009.
Silhouettes are wildly popular, and these stunning projects transform the nostalgic classic into something elegantly modern. Crafters will learn four beautiful ways to make their own silhouettes: by casting a shadow and tracing along the edges, using digital technology that "silhouettes" almost any image, drawing freehand for a loose "handmade" look, and copying patterns. The 22 decorative items--which range from a glowing lampshade and holiday tree ornaments to napkin rings, votive holders, and layered canvases--showcase the style's diversity and charm, and add bold new touches, like color. Plus, the book includes 50 fabulous patterns that will work in almost every imaginable project!
     
125 papercraft projects : step-by-step papier mache, decoupage, paper cutting, collage, decorative effects & paper construction
editor, Lucy Painter.
London : Lorenz Books, c2006.
This book has gathered together over 125 papercraft projects for you to make at home from paper construction projects to exquisite examples of decoupage, papier mache, paper cutting and collage.
     

We all know that the Chinese invented paper. At first paper was only for the elite. They would use the paper cut stencil for embroidery patterns. As paper became more affordable to all, paper cuts were used to decorate objects around the house.

The Japanese used paper cut stencils to dye the pattern on court robes. Later they would come up with a cutting and folding method called mon-kiri. Today children use this technique to cut out snowflakes, paper chains and holiday decorations.

Hans Christian Andersen would often accompany papercutting with a tale. He would entertain his friends with his paper cutting skills. At the end of the story he would unfold the paper and surprise them with the finished product.

Odense City Museums

While Rabbi Shem-Tov ben Yitzhak ben Ardutiel was writing "The War of the Pen Against the Scissors",  the ink froze in his pen. He finished the manuscript by cutting the letters into the paper. Today paper cuts are hung on eastern walls in Jewish homes and synagogues to indicate the direction of prayer.

One of the easiest styles of paper cutting is a silhouette portrait. It uses any object that can cast a shadow, usually a person's profile. Cutting it out of black paper and mounting it on white paper captures the likeness of the subject.

Paper cutting is as easy as deciding what type of paper you want to use, choosing a design, and cutting it out with a pair of sharp scissors. It is an activity that can be enjoyed by all in the family.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff