Magic Lanterns:

The Art of Scherenschnitte


Artistic papercutting has been prized by many cultures throughout the world, from the temples of 6th century China to the folk art of the Pennsylvania Dutch of the 19th Century. From the latter we get the term "scherenschnitte", pronounced shair-un-shnitte. These pieces were usually made of white parchment paper with a black background, or black on white. When I set out to make my own, I wanted them to be luminous, like the magic lantern slides which were so popular before the age of photography and television. I use acid-free parchment, intricately cut and layered between panes of glass. A light source is all that is needed to bring these works to life, and I suggest using either a small tea-light candle (using common sense safety precautions) or natural sunlight.
Please click on the titles beneath the thumbnail images for a larger image and more information about each piece.