blog posts on the tradition of paper cutting, a folkloric practice close to my
heart and my art!
scissor cuts in German, is the
traditional art of paper cutting. Using scissors or
a knife, a silhouette of the image or scene is cut from paper in a delicate and
intricate process requiring immense skill and meticulous attention to detail.
practiced in Northern Europe, its roots stem back to China around 750 A.D.
|A gaekkebrev hand cut by Hans Christian Anderson
instead it has undergone a renaissance and is growing in popularity. Its appeal
lies in using such a simple material such as paper, its versatility and serving
as a wonderful medium for storytelling.
designs that really celebrated his storytelling. Using a folding technique, the
author cut intricate designs with scissors as a form of therapy and relaxation.
paper cutting. Gaekkebrev translated to mean secret snowdrop letter is a
well-celebrated Danish tradition that is practiced around Easter time as the
snow is lifting. It’s a little game where you pick a snowdrop flower, attach
its delicate white buds to the paper cut design you have been snipping away at.
|Example of a traditional gaekkebrev paper cutting
verse, disguising your handwriting and give the paper cutting to someone. The
recipient’s job is to guess who it’s from. If they guess correctly, then you have to give
them an Easter egg. You can sign your name in dots; one dot for each letter of
your name. This game can also be used on Valentine ’s Day for a bit of fun.
Danish roots to create a new Christmas ecard medium bringing paper cutting to
life in a digital format.
scanned and brought to life by converting them to Vector illustrations and
imaginary stories I would play out in my mind as a child. I created a heavenly
white village scene with paper cut flora and fauna animations fluttering and transforming
before your eyes.
|Paper cut snowflake shavings falling
In an nostalgic moment, I recalled
playing outside in the garden as a child as fresh snow fell, climbing under
branches and watching the snowflakes gently fall to the ground like pieces of
paper cuttings. I would imagine make-believe worlds amidst a winter
wonderland, only to return to the warmth of my family home hours later with red
cheeks and numb fingers. I would spend hours transfixed on the delicate snow
gently falling outside.
snowfall is becoming rarer before Christmas in my native country Denmark.
As I started working on this ecard, my friends and family back in
Denmark sent me photos of the very unusual first snow in November this year
which delighted and inspired me – making the process of the card’s
creation even more enjoyable.
|Flora and fauna layered against a winter village backdrop
Set within a village scene transforming from day to night, the story begins with a fanciful paper snowflake being cut, dropping its paper shavings to a buoyant orchestral tune called A Whimsical Story by composer David G Steele.
On closer look, we find deer, a fox, a rare and a variety of song birds, partridges and doves frolicking about a wondrous winter playground amidst vines and flowers inspired by traditional Polish paper cutting designs.
|The sequence ends with room to add your own Christmas message
This ecard is intended to be elevating and full of Christmas cheer.
View the Christmas Paper Story e-card