Paper Cut

Paper cut, paper cutting or papercutting - all refer to the art of creating paper designs by cutting paper in a specific manner. This art has evolved in a major way over several centuries now, in all parts of the world. Different cultures have found their own unique ways of expressing their creativity through the art of paper cutting.

The Chinese paper cutting originated in the sixth century when the women of those times used to paste silver and golden foil cuttings on their hair when visiting the temples. The men would use such paper cuts while performing sacred rituals. Later, these paper cuts started getting used during the festivals for decoration of windows and gates. Now, many centuries later, the same paper cuts are gaining huge popularity as a substantial means of decoration among the Chinese folk people, especially their women.

The main tools involved in paper cutting are: scissors, paper and perhaps an engraving knife. However, what’s most important is the deft and clever craftsmanship of the people who are good at this art in their day-to-day lives. When you have a good look at the art works created through Chinese paper cutting, you’d be amazed by the created figures and their true to life expressions. They effectively portray the appearance and unique gestures of various animals and plants. Patterns depicting the chrysanthemums display some amazing curling petals, while pied magpies reveal their tiny feathers. Other paper cutting creations like young people visiting their grandparents on New Year eve or a married daughter returning to her parent’s home are also phenomenal to say the least.

Although the same kind of scenes can be effectively depicted by other art forms like sketching, painting etc. too, paper cutting does standout owing to its charm. The handmade ingenuous patterns and exact lines are greatly responsible for the paper cuts’ wonderful appearance. The way three-dimensional scenes can be made to pop out from the paper goes to show the way engravers explore their imagination and creativity. The work is not easy as all secondary parts must be deleted, and all the main body parts must come forth boldly and properly.

Although it isn’t difficult to learn how to cut a piece of paper, it’s not so easy when it comes to mastering this art with perfection. One needs to grasp the paper cutting knife in a certain upright manner, and press it evenly onto the paper using great strength. A lot of flexibility is needed and even a slight bit of wiggling or hesitation can lead to destruction of the entire image. Engravers lay stress on the cutting lines in many different ways. They make a straight line just like a wheat stem, a circle in the form of the moon and square quite like a brick.