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Silhouette-like images can be found among Stone Age cave paintings.

A directory of silhouette and paper cutter artists around the world.
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Silhouette-like images can be found among ancient Greek vase paintings.

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Scissors marie-helene grabman biography

[Biography] [Gallery]

Lived: - present
GAP Member Since: 1990-01-15
Type: Papercutting, Silhouette, Scherenschnitte

5862 Governors Hill Dr.
Alexandria Virginia 22310
USA

703-341-6611
scissorcutter@yahoo.com
www.main.nc.us/openstudio/MHGrabman

Circle of Birds
Circle of Birds

Marie-Helene L. Grabman is one of the few fine artists executing original works of scissor-cut paper – “Scherenschnitte”. The art of scherenschnitte is not very well known in the USA, however, the art dates from the 1500’s in Switzerland and Germany. It was brought to Colonial America by immigrants in the 1700’s. Like much of our art, the style changed from its continental roots, and the American work became very primitive in appearance. Today, only a handful of artists in this country practice the original, intricate, European style cutwork – Marie-Helene’s specialty.

She first learned cutting techniques from her grandmother. Later from studies of electronic and print journalism at the University of Detroit, then as a TV news professional, she mastered the concepts to design in a medium that contrasts mirror images and asymmetry.

Love Knot II
Love Knot II
Pennsylvania Memories 3
Pennsylvania Memories 3

A serious student of scherenschnitte, she combines both secular and religious influences of European development and American heritage. She uses only scissors to create each refined, uniquely detailed, graceful work. While she completes simple cuttings in hours, intricate work can require a year to fully develop.

The paper cuttings are cut from acid-free white or imported black silhouette paper. Some of the works have multiple layers of sculpted paper added to the base cutting to create or enhance a focal point. Under layers of papers are also used to give color to hollow cut areas.

Spring
Spring
Summer
Summer

The major difference in Marie-Helene’s work and that of other European and American cuttings is the dimensional aspect of the work. The cuttings are never glued completely down…they are floated on the back mat to create shadows and a 3-dimensional look, important to the final composition.

For a list of awards and honors please Marie-Helene's Artist Statement

 

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This site is brought to you in cooperation with the Guild of American Papercutters (GAP).

Many thanks to Silhouette Portraits and Silhouettes of You for their support and inspiration.


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