Cutting Edge images, Scherenschnitte

Paper Cutting

Snip snip-2

Shapes or images or just plain making scraps!

Not every effort is a finished art piece.

Did you ever just want to sit and cut paper? Some of us do.

As soon as you start though, there is a need for a direction, you can’t just cut randomly for long because the mind needs a direction and the knowledge that an outcome is implied interferes with the fun of just cutting.

Repetition, uniformity and abstractions self-impose on the shapes. The size of material, the original shape, and texture of the paper also contribute to guiding an outcome.

If you don’t think so, take a large, a really large sheet of “good,” really good paper, not just a scrap. Some paper that cost several dollars a sheet (15 or 20 dollars) and just cut into it; you will feel yourself responding on so many levels.

Even small children cannot just cut paper; they will name the pieces or make confetti or pretend it into something magical.

There is that “observing self,” the one who is looking over your shoulder but is not really there, that pretends to be a real audience, putting pressure on making a project need to come out.

Just cutting paper makes scraps.  When you add an idea or a purpose it becomes art.  Maybe not good art, but art.  Add a little design and it becomes sharable art.

For those out there who do this (you know, just sit down and start cutting paper), you know about this: it isn’t long until the muse manifests and the mind begins to image outcomes unreachable. It is then that the great logical ogre appears, coming to chase away the muse, exclaiming it all a waste of time, useless, and nonproductive.

Take heart.  When something is joyously fun and useless, it is already approaching art.  Stay with that, cultivate snipping and feeling until the muse re-emerges/  The real culprit here is the pretend observer you think is looking on, that self-monitor, the other critic that is imagined, which is the killer of all the arts.

Here is the crux of the whole thing: doing something you like and that is fun, will produce both a skill to do it and an experience curve to draw on.  In a relatively short time the art ogre is repelled at the gate and the involvement is instantaneous at scissors-first-glance.  Cut enough paper and a great painting will be inspired, a great invention perceived.  A conversation long awaited will be developed and undertaken.

Take a look out there at how many people do this, and how well some of them do it, it is amazing!

I love to just sit and cut paper, and that doesn’t come close to how folding paper can make one feel. That’s for another blog!

Paper cutting has been around for as long as there has been paper (over a thousand years), and it is known in various cultures as Scherenschnitte, wycinanki, papel picado, and jihanzi.

The art of cutting paper with a purpose is called Scherenschnitte




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