A beautiful old art form

     

A Swiss style cutting  from Jeri's 1st Children's Book

 

The above is one of my  Pennsylvania Dutch Fraktur-Cuttings

What is Scherenschnitte?


Scherenschnitte (pronounced Sharon-sh-net, if German or Sharon-sh-net-ah if Swiss) is the German word for the art of scissors snipping or paper cutting. This lovely old art form has been around for hundreds of years starting in China with the invention of paper. Paper cutting traveled throughout Asia and Europe and eventually was brought to America by the Europeans. Germans settling in Pennsylvania, known as the Pennsylvania Dutch created  paper cuttings which were used for: Marriage and Birth certificates, Christmas ornaments, home decoration and simply for the joy of creating art. Many other groups have  cutting styles  unique to their regions: Jewish, Polish,  Dutch, Chinese, Mexican and Japanese papercutting.. just to name a few.  My clear  choices are the Swiss and German styles, as well as some early American styles,  however, I do admire them all. 

Jeri discovered Scherenschnitte over twenty-five years ago while looking through a book on Early American Folk Art and hasnít put down her scissors and knives since.   

To create a piece of Scherenschnitte: 

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Jeri first draws her design using a medium weight paper (parchment paper is a good choice).

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Next, using tiny scissors, and sma11, razor sharp knives, she meticulously cuts out the image while still leaving the remaining paper intact, in other words, the remaining design is still one piece of paper. This can take anywhere from an hour to a hundred hours, depending on the intricacy of the design.

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When this is complete, Jeri mixes media by using the silhouette which she has designed and cut as a platform or a canvas, and paints a beautiful watercolor painting atop the silhouette. Or she may paint a watercolor background and places silhouettes atop to give the silhouettes more interest and depth.

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She then mounts each finished painted cutting on black mat board giving it a very distinctive dramatic look.

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Finally, each piece is framed in an antique styled Hand-grained frame.

Jeriís work varies in size and subject matter. Sizes range from 2Ē by 3 inches, to her larger pieces, 4í by 5 feet. Subject matter varies from traditional Early American themes such as barn dances and quilting bees to fanciful finned, feathered or furry critters from her vivid imagination. 

Most of Jeriís original (Painted Scherenschnitte) creations are reproduced as signed and numbered limited addition lithographic prints which are available for purchase.

The above piece was inspired by a very similar antique papercutting created in 1840.

These links will take you to more  of Jeri's paper-cuttings and prints

Painted Cuttings   Fraktur Cuttings   Greeting Cards   Jeri's Books

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