Welcome to my 'other blog' the one that explores my crafty side. I have been a maker of 'things' since childhood. By nature I'm creative. I still love to write, and you can click on this link to visit my blog: Hanging On My Word, which is where I indulge in the thought and word side. Although a teacher by profession, I don't offer tutorials. This is my showcase of projects I like to share. So pull aside the curtains and let's begin (I'm a bit theatrical too!).

Friday, 27 April 2012

Not Cut Out For This


The lovely photo prompt for this week’s Sepia Saturday challenge was a vintage photograph of Maypole dancers. This reminded me that I had an old ‘papercut’ picture, hanging on the bedroom wall, of children dancing round a tree. The picture has always reminded me of a cross between ring-a-ring-a-roses and Maypole dancing. I am sentimentally attached to my picture because it was a gift to me, about 47 years ago, from my Austrian friend Viktoria. I was an exchange student (aged 13) and I was staying with her family in a village (now a town), not far from Vienna, called Wolkersdorf. The picture hung on the wall in her bedroom, and I admired it so much that she generously handed it to me there and then. It has been everywhere with me since then and has even been re-framed (a delicate operation as the papercut was not glued down as you might think, and was like a piece of lace). I have tried to find out about its history, as I think it must have been pretty old already, but drawn a blank. I would particularly like to know the translation of the German word in the bottom left hand corner, if anyone can help. Papercutting is an an ancient craft and examples are found all over the world. It is thought to have originated in China in the 1st century. There are thousands of fine examples on the internet, both images and videos, and just initiating a google search will take you into a silhouette art gallery.


I have tried the craft myself, but with variable results. I bought this book as inspiration. I found a similar design on page 31, of children acting out the ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ nursery rhyme. It still looked too tricky for me. The book has lots of tips and templates and I did manage to produce a decent image of an artist for my Dad’s 90th birthday card, using this image in the book.

It took me ages and I’m afraid I didn’t have the patience it needs. I think making paper dollies for my grandchildren is about my level and that I’m just not 'cut out' for this particular craft.




Why not not see what other contributors found to show us following the prompt below, by following the link to this week’s Sepia Saturday?

20 comments:

  1. I used to have several Chinese papercuts but somehow along the way I lost them. I hadn't thought of them in years and years until I read your post. Hope you can find out more about yours.

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  2. Is it like scherenschnitte? I don't know. But I think your paper dollies would look lovely in a long narrow frame -- quite dramatic!

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    1. Yes, I believe that it’s called that in Germanic countries - though not of course in China :)

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  3. I have also wanted to learn how to do this, especially after seeing people who could quickly turn out little masterpieces. Alas, I didn't even try. I have a sense it would be a disaster. I certainly do admire the successful results though.

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  4. Yes, scherenschnitte is the proper word for paper cutting. In our craft biz, we did several books of designs for this technique. It's amazing how popular a craft it was a few years ago.
    Your fathers gift is really wonderful. great job.
    Nancy

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  5. I think your dollies are lovely. Very Pippi Longstocking.

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    1. They always come out differently - I don’t draw them, just do them freehand. When I was a tecaher I would make them for the pupils whilst telling the story of Badger’s Parting Gifts by Suan Varley.

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  6. I am trying to work out which way around the main picture is. Is it a piece of white paper over a black background or a cut black shape over a white background? Which ever it is, it is very well done and I can see why you fell in love with it.

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    1. It’s black paper on a white background - I saw it when it was out of the frame. It’s a silhouette really I suppose.

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  7. How darling and fitting for this week's theme!

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  8. Not the Anglo-Austrian Society? You too? :) In spite of that four week stay in Austria, I still can't say what the word is. I thought it might be Ringel Ringel Reihe but although the picture almost fits, the word doesn't.

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  9. Nell, you are so talented. I did a simple one of trees in art class years ago but haven't tried it since. Yours turned out great! I bet that your Dad was thrilled with his card. The picture that your friend gave you is probably worth some money. I wonder if you can contact one of the Antiques Roadshow to find out more about it?

    Kathy M.

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  10. I like papercuts, but I'm not cut out for doing them myself either.

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  11. Glad you came back with this Nell. I'm not trusted with a pair of scissors as I can't cut along a straight line, intricate shapes would be out.

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  12. I like how the dollies plaits are linked like their hands...very clever.

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  13. Sometimes you either have to have extreme talent for something or really, really want to do it!

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  14. Your paper dolls are pretty darned good! My speed stops at snowflakes - but that's mostly because I simply don't have the patience for that sort of thing. Those who do the paper cuts & silhouettes have not only remarkable talent, but must have patience galore!

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  15. I had not idea it was anything other than something done to entertain children. Thanks - boundforoz

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  16. Just tried cutting out a pint of beer image but it didn't work. Better sticking to the real thing I think.

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  17. These are so lovely. The German word is such an apt description of the art.

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