Graphic designer Cindy Bean first saw elaborate papercuts when she visited Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg in 2006. “The museum shop had some papercuts for sale,” she remembers. “Then I visited my grandparents near Frankfurt and saw more “Scherenschnitte” framed on their living room wall.” Bean was fascinated.
“Scherenschnitte” means “scissor cuts” and being a graphic designer, “I was already handy with an X-acto,” says Bean. So when she came home, she turned her hand to mastering the old folk art. “At the time, I couldn’t find out a lot about it,” she recalls. “Now, it’s become quite popular. The older artists look down on using an X-acto knife instead of scissors.” That hasn’t stopped Bean. “I start with a drawing, then scan it and cut it on paper that’s black on one side and white on the other.” For this image, which took four hours to finish, Bean went through four or five X-acto blades. “You have to keep them sharp.”
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