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Papercutting and silouette art are one of the many products avaialable at The Loft. Hand cut by owner and artist himself Brian Crawford,  it can be found in many forms and styles.  Customizing and commissions are also available as options for those of you who woud like to give a special and personal gift or just a treat for yourself.All of my pieces are cut by hand with X-acto blades.

Most of my pieces take many hours to design and complete.

I am happy to take commissions and would love to design something just for you.

Classes are also available for all ages.

A Little history Tidbit

Papercutting is considered the making of a design of some kind out of paper using small scissors or a knife. These designs can be symmetrical or not, but are always decorative and sometimes even functional. Popular scenes include nature, family scenes, animals, and holiday themes. Today, they have many uses, including stencils, greeting cards, scrapbooking, window decorations, etching, etc.

Papercutting has been around for a very long time. In its earliest form, it seems to have originated around the 4th century A.D. after the Chinese invented paper. Naturally, papercutting was soon to follow. The Chinese used it for religious decorations and as patterns for embroidery. Their designs range from very simple, flat one layer designs to extremely intricate folded, multi-layered creations. 

 Papercutting has spread to nearly every part of the globe. In Germany, it is called scherenschnitte, and was used as a template for furniture decorations and embroidery. The Swiss are also known for their beautiful symmetric papercut designs. The Dutch call it knippen, and they used it for decorating religious and legal documents. The Polish name for it is wycinanki, and have created many designs that feature nature and symmetrical designs. There is also evidence that the early peoples of Mexico (papel picado) and Japan (kirigami) practiced the art of papercutting. The English form of papercutting is the making of silhouettes. During the Middle Ages, silhouettes were all the rage, and it was a way for families to record images until photography was invented. This, of course, is where we get the old-fashioned Valentines adorned with silhouettes. Today, the best known center of design for papercutting in the U.S. is Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. Germans who wanted to escape relgious persecution settled in this area.

One interesting use of papercutting in ancient times was for funeral ceremonies. Figures and symbols were either burned or buried with the deceased.
Another little historical tidbit is that Hans Christian Andersen, the famous Danish storyteller, was an avid papercutter, and there are displays of his work in his home in Odensk, Denmark.

  The Loft
8 Stoddard Street
Dexter, Mo 573-614-5161
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