Folk art papercutting

I have just unearthed a book that my Granny gave to me when I was a child, all about folk art designs that have been cut from paper. From time to time I take it out and use it for inspiration, and I’ve been thinking about it again recently, because there are a lot of folk art designs about at the moment. I’m thinking particularly of Sanna Annukka, and her wonderful M&S Christmas trees, and also Rob Ryan, who is a current day embodiment of paper-cutting skill (Incidentally I was reading an article about him yesterday in the Guardian online). I’ve taken a couple of snapshots on my phone because I was too lazy to go upstairs and scan them in, so forgive the quality.

Folk Art Designs Book Cover
The front cover of the folk art designs book

It’s when you think about how these designs were produced that you realise why they were symmetrical and that is because they were cut from folded paper. The nearest I have ever got to this is producing snowflakes with the children at Christmas! If you have ever done that you will soon appreciate the skill in some of these designs, which are very intricate. The one below is one of my favourites, and would be very popular today, with its birds and deer:

Swiss papercut design in the style of Johann Jakob Hauswirth
Swiss papercut design in the style of Johann Jakob Hauswirth

According to Ramona Jablonski, the author of the book, this is a Swiss design in the style of one of the masters of Swiss papercutting, Johann Jakob Hauswirth (1807-71). Ok, I’ve just Googled and got lost in a wonderful array of info about papercutting and this artist in particular. His work is incredible! There’s no Wikipedia info on him though – perhaps it’s time to create some. I also came across this article by Florence Forrest from Australia, who also has a fantastic Etsy shop. The Japanese example in her article is just wow! There is also Jupi’s Art, which has beautiful artwork and also some history. Particularly useful there is the round-up of various names for papercutting art around the world (at the bottom of the page I have linked to). Some more Googling fodder there, I think. How many superlatives did I put in that last section? 🙂 Can you tell I enjoyed that little creative excursion?

Hauswirth papercutting
'Bauernleben (farmlife) mit Alpaufzug' by Hauswirth

I got carried away there. I’m supposed to be creating and not blogging! I’m trying to do something to commemorate the birth of all my new nieces and nephews – two girl twins and a boy recently, with another niece on the way. I have plenty of inspiration now. I’ll let you know how I get on…

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