Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scherenschitten

Lesley Gondeck Silvia offered a free after hours course at Full Sail explaining the art of Scherenschitten. She pointed out that in America very few people carry on traditions and crafts from their home country. She began exploring the art of paper cutting as a way to re-find her roots. Recently Lesley did a cover for the Orlando Weekly using Scherenschitten. She showed preliminary sketches and explained her process. I always learn something when another artist explains how they work.

As Lesley wrote, "Scherenschnitte means 'scissor cuts' in German, and it is the art of paper cutting design. Founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 1500's, it was brought to Colonial America in the 1700s by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania. I am enjoying working with paper. It's cheap, hands on, less commonly seen, and makes me feel like I'm learning a bit about my German/Swiss heritage. Cindy Ferguson's style is a big influence as is the works of Rob Ryan."

The art studio was a room I had never been in before. I felt immediately at home among all the drafting tables and the wide assortment of art on the walls. Tom Buzbee, Grace Kurth, and Hugo Giraud were also in the studio as instructors and backup. Tom said hello and explained that the art lab is made available for students who want a place to be creative. It is a place they can escape to if they are tired of writing code and taping keyboard commands. He said that the Dada artist ideals are promoted.

After Lesley's talk, all the students were given xacto blades and black construction paper. I cut out paper in the shapes of the black metal struts to the art desks. I flipped the black paper defining the shapes already established in the sketch. I glued the bold black shapes to the sketch. It was fun playing with a new medium. I think it is time for me to add black to my palette.

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