Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In Praise of Paper Cuts

Today's Wonder of the World is...the Art of Papercutting!

Flickr photo by Aleksu
So how was your Cinco de Mayo? While you were eating your weight in guacamole (What, you weren't? I was!) did you notice the strings of papel picado fluttering above your head? You know, those pretty tissue paper decorations strung all over Mexican restaurants and webbed over the patio of my dreams?

Ever since I first tried my hand at snipping out a snowflake, I've been impressed with a good papercut. Like this beauty I found on Etsy while I was searching for lilies of the valley.

Photo by
I could never do that.
My skills are more along this line.

Flickr photo by madgardener
If I got really creative, maybe I'd come up with something like this.

Flickr photo by krakencrafts

Won't you follow me into an entirely different universe of creative paper cutting?
Here, let's go through this door here...

Flickr photo byufocinque

Did you know that people love papercutting all over the world?
The art is called Scherenschnitte in Germany and Switzerland, sanjhi in India, kirie in Japan, and papel picado in Mexico. The oldest surviving example of a papercut was made in China in the 6th century.
You've probably seen Chinese papercuts before. They're usually red in color, like this one.

Flickr photo by
Watch a Chinese papercut being made here. It's remarkable!

Speaking of remarkable, allow me to introduce you to the work of Etsy artist Elsa Mora.
Her paper cuts are otherworldly.
See what I mean?

Photo by Elsita (Elsa Mora)

This next one is titled Fears.

Flickr photo by Elsita (Elsa Mora)
She gives us a look at the details here.

This one is in her Etsy store.

Photo by Elsita (Elsa Mora)
Elsa blogs about her art here. Why don't you hop over for a look-see? If you leave a comment on her giveaway, you might end up with a papercut of your own. I promise it's the pain free kind!

Have a wonder-full Wednesday everybody!
Before you go, give a listen to Lisa Hannigan's "I Don't Know," my favorite song of the moment. Guess what? Watch the video through to the end and you'll see that she's a paper cutter too!
Love, Becky


a Tonggu Momma said...

We have several framed Chinese papercuts in our home. (Gosh, I wonder why?) My favorite is one of about 20 pandas sitting near some caves. Great topic!!!

lotusgirl said...

Wow! That Lisa Hannigan video is amazing. I've now discovered a new artist I like. Thanks for the heads up.

Stacy Nyikos said...

I loved to do these as a kid, and when I moved to Germany, papercutting was all the rave. My sister-in-law is awesome at it. I'm still at the lopsided snowflake stage. Sigh.

Kat said...

WOW! I must admit I've never seen papercutting like that. Very cool. :)

Sherry said...

Those are all so pretty but I especially like the door. How elegant!
Since I have your blog listed on my site, your new titles always appear. When I saw the title of this post, I immediately questioned what kind of paper cut could be a wonder of the world. That's because I thought of getting a paper cut on my finger. See where non-creative minds go???

adrienne said...

Wow! I loved the song and the papercutting. Very enchanting. I'll have to check out Mora's work, too.

Rosemary said...

I thought I was good at the paper thing.
Have a great day!

Susan said...

I love admiring paper cuttings, but haven't tried yet. Thanks for the inspiration. Great videos. Thanks.

Kelly H-Y said...

Oh, that's a much better kind of paper cut than the one I was originally thinking of when I read your title! :-) Those paper cuts are pretty ... and don't hurt at all!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Heck I can't even DRAW that well, let alone cut paper so well!

cindy said...

I'm always amazed at these lovely paper cut out creations. Clever people indeed that do that! :D


Suzie said...

Id love all the doors in my house to look like that. Amazing

LW said...

I love the song, I love the video
and I have always been intrigued by papercuts.
thanks for all the links.
I am going to get a cup of coffe and take the time to look at them all...


TattingChic said...

Paper cutting is such a beautiful and fascinating art to me. So many possibilities. Thank you for the lovely and inspiring post, Becky! :)

Jojo said...

It isn't a paper cut but I am totally amazed with vinyl flooring cuts...