Friday, August 5, 2011

Scherensnitte Paper Cuttings Tutorial


original ooak Collage Art Doll by inkspired

I'm glad to be back after a day or so of not.
We received our new (replacement) scanner/printer - Yippee!
Our dryer went out.
The repairman just left.
We have to decide now if it is worth it to get the necessary repairs,
or just buy a new one.
I like the old dryers that were meant to last. If they broke, you fixed them.
This one is only at the most 9 years old.
I guess that is old in dryer years, nowadays.
Our last one lasted 25 years and then we sold it (our new house already had one) and it is still going today, as far as I know.
Same thing with the washer.
Oooo, speaking of wash, I have a ton of laundry to do today!!

With the 'new' scanner, I have been scanning pictures of my current cut art.
Pretty much all of these would fall under the title:
The dragon might fall under Chinese Cut Art.
(no, I don't remember the name of it right now!)

I will mount it most likely on a deep red.
This will be a gift for my son.

This next one is of the black paper that I cut the dragon out of:

The dragon is placed over a piece of purple cardstock.
I will probably detail the teeth a bit more, and it is also a piece ready for display.

I cut mostly with a blade.
I like the Fiskars one with a scoop place for your finger to rest.
It is only about 4 - 5" long.
I purchased it at a craft type store.
All my handles use a #11 xacto type blade.

This next example shows the (recycled) scratch paper that the design was printed on. Since it had already been used, there is a black mark by his tail.
I will most likely cover this with a cloud cutting, or perhaps sun rays.

So you see, you can get actually 3 frameable cut pieces if you cut carefully.

To cut with scissors, there are a couple of ways to cut.

The first is what I usually do if I am cutting with scissors:
Take your knife find a long line on the pattern. Cut it.
Now you have room to insert the tips of your scissors and cut out the pattern with scissors. Doing it this way, you will still have 3 frameable pieces.

In this mother and child picture I have cut,
I would probably start with the long cut of her skirt on the right.

The second way is to use hand held paper hole punches.
Find the largest area of your design to be cut out.
Punch one or several holes with the largest size paper punch that will fit inside.
This should give you just barely enough room to fit in the tip of your scissors.

I use this technique with my kirigami more than scherensnitte:

kirigami, with an added stamped, colored and cut out butterfly and fairy.
I accented with glitter glue (Stickles is great).

The third way, that will destroy the outside paper being cut,
is to find the pattern area that is closest to the edge. Cut as short of a line as you can directly to the pattern, and start cutting. As you see, this will leave the outer, left over paper unusable for framing. You will only have the cut out silhouette.

Examples of smaller cuttings with lots of inner details:
This is a photo of the leftover outer paper from a parasol cutting.
This is what you would get if you started cutting the design from the side of the paper. This one I used a blade with, so you don't see the slash from the outer edge to the pattern design as you would with a scissor cutting.
Since I never use this third scissor technique, I don't have any samples!
The Lacy Boot is in the process of being cut.
You can see where I have carefully taped the pattern to the desired paper.

Here is the actual parasol cutting, along with a lacy fan:

I still need to do some paper pricking and small hole punching to finish these.
You can see the small paper punch I used in the design on the fan.

When using tape to fix your pattern to your paper -
tear very small pieces of scotch-type tape.
Place piece on a piece of clothing (I usually use my jeans). Rub.
Remove tape, and then tape your pattern down with it.
The 'fuzz' or lint on clothing will make the tape less sticky.
The less sticky tape will not tear your finished paper when you remove it carefully.

cat and fishbowl, cutting by inkspired

Leftover black paper that design was cut from. The inner fishbowl and the sea grass with the fish need to be re-assembled and mounted. When scanning this picture, the pieces were slightly moved from where they will be when I finish it.
I may also add some small black pieces to define the cat's body and paws on the bowl, and add another black 'rim' to the fishbowl.

Here is the back of the design pattern. I printed it on scrap light blue paper.
I like it on this pale yellow cardstock!

Just to make things clear,
I put my chosen paper down first, wrong side facing me.
Then I put my (usually printed) pattern piece on top.
I fix the pattern to the chosen paper with modified scotch tape.
I use a knife blade to cut
so that I may have more than one piece to work with after I am finished cutting.

Here I used two pieces of parchment paper plus the pattern to cut all at once.
I was trying to save time by cutting 2 at one time.
I had to do touch up cutting to the faces, so I probably won't do this again,
unless the pattern is much more simple.
Refer to the other cutting from earlier in this blog.
I simply placed one with the 'back' as front side up.

This next example has too many inner cuts to really use the 'outside' frame.
My pattern was on a very thin piece of tissue paper,
so it also will not look good if I wanted to frame it.

Two lovebirds in hexagonal frame
This is a pattern that I tweaked from a stained glass pattern.
To mount, I will need to use a larger piece of mat board, to do it properly.
I cut it from a pastel white parchment paper.

It would look lovely with touches of light watercolor to tint it.

With these next two examples I have folded the paper in half, and then cut with a pattern together. In other words, the pattern is only half a page.
You can see the fold lines as I have not yet ironed them.
Sometimes a very dry iron will get the line out.
Sometimes placing under a stack of heavy books will get the line out.
Mostly, I don't worry about it!

to a friend's house, cut by inkspired

a Pennsylvania dutch style heart cutting, by inkspired

I'm not sure I am happy with the way the heart looks inside,
so I will probably 'tweak' the pattern and do it again.
This one did have a nice tri-tulip design from the inside however.
These smaller cuttings are very pretty pasted onto a handmade greeting card.
You can also easily use them with your decoupage.
(see decoupage plate tutorial, previous blog)

Copier printed vintage violets clip,
scherensnitte cut fairy.

The fairy moved slightly while I was scanning it.
Her wand tip will actually be placed on the top Left leaf.
Here is the paper that I cut the design from:

I will probably add some dried flowers,
or perhaps some doily bits, to enhance her.
She is a nice, simple design and I will most likely make more cuttings of her
from different colors.
I also want to do a watercolor background to mount one of them on.
Oh, okay, not soooo simple. Her hands and profile were a pain to cut!


Here is a photo I took above Estes Park (Rocky Mountains), Colorado, USA.
Feel free to use it as a background for a cutting.
I plan on using it for a scherensnitte design of a flying eagle.
Wouldn't colorful butterflies also look pretty?

A few more cuttings of mine:

Horse on Peach, styled more like Chinese cut-art, cut by inkspired

Nativity scene, pattern found in a vintage magazine, cut by inkspired

This last one is to inspire you.
This wonderful pilgrim design is by Papercuttings by Alison.

She has the most fantastic patterns, reasonably priced, and rated
Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.
Don't let that stop you however, if you see a pattern you really like.
Jump in (but of course, never run with scissors) and try it!

I have cut several of her 3-D cuttings, and each one has turned out perfectly.
She gives very good instructions so you can complete each cutting.

I really cannot say enough good things about her and her business.

I would highly recommend you check her website out.
She also offers a free catalog which I also would highly recommend.
It can be difficult to see what the design is on a computer screen, sometimes.
Besides, I just like browsing when I am in my Living Room chair!

Remember, you are just using paper.
If you seriously screw up, throw it away and start a new one!
I find most all "oopsies" can still be 'saved' and used.

I will explore more papercutting at another time.
There are the lovely papel picado banners...
many Pennsylvania Dutch styled ornaments....
cut paper garlands for any occasion....
and more!

inkspired - to buy things I have made, almost all are one-of-a-kind - to send me questions, suggestions, patterns, and photos of your work
please use the comments section on this blog too!

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