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Mastering Silhouettes
Expert Instruction in the Art of Silhouette Portraiture
Charles Burns

Fil Rouge Press (distributed in the UK by Search Press)
16 February 2016/ ISBN 9780956438232
How-To Books / Papercrafts

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


Silhouettes have been a popular papercraft since the mid-18th century when they first appeared. There are many different variations on the basic idea of a plain outline and they are all in this book.

You don’t need lots of expensive art materials, machinery or even much room to cut silhouettes. I have fond memories of doing it as a child, including on long car journeys and on vacation, so was delighted to see a whole book on the subject. I was also surprised at how many different types of silhouettes there are, including ones using several different colors of paper, those with drawn-on features, or added gold paint, or caricatures and even silhouettes taken with a camera. Each chapter covers a different technique and gives an outline of the person who created it or is most associated with it. There are examples from the artist or from that period, plus modern versions, and to enable you to have a go, instructions on how to do it. These are not in many captioned steps, but have one or two good photographs and plenty of description. Reading about the early silhouette cutters is fascinating, and highlights a type of art largely forgotten. The final section has tips on presenting work and further examples of how it was done in the past. This is a handsomely produced book that is sure to give papercrafters a lot of pleasure.

If you cannot find a good range of paper cutting materials locally, try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines.
Reviewed 2016