Monday, November 22, 2010
I recently presented at a Early Childhood Education conference in Edmonton, the theme of my session was Multicultural Art Techniques. One of the techniques I discussed was Wycinanki or Polish paper cutouts. There are lots of examples in google images.
This "Tree of Life" theme is quite common, a symmetrical cutting done on the fold.
I also talked about amate cutouts from the Otomi people of San Pablito, ( Art for Small Hands recently did a post), which is also a symmetrical cutting.
These Wycinanki designs were used to decorate the freshly white washed walls of farmer's homes in the spring in preparation for Easter.
I think they look terrific at any time and it's amazing what you can create with the simplest of materials. (Paper, glue, and scissors)
Not all Wycinanki is symmetrical "cut on the fold".
This turkey (for all of you in the USA this week) which could easily be a Rooster or Peacock, it is also a very traditional design.
A symmetrical design is a good way to get started. Take a piece of black paper, fold, and trace out a design using white crayon, pencil, or colored pencils.
If you want to use my designs you can find them here:
Tree of Life 1
Tree of Life 2
Turkey, Rooster, or Peacock
On the pattern you will see where you can cut this decorative fringe frame section off so you can cut the inner design.
Fringe frames are quite common designs, many Wycinanki have quite elaborate ones and often more than one.
For this fringe cut little "teeth" into the outside edge.
Glue your design onto a backing paper. Here I'm using white as it contrasts so nicely with my black cutout.
Glue the fringe back into place and no one will be the wiser.
If you fold your colored paper and cut 2 shapes at the same time you can keep that symmetrical look.
Glue and let dry. Place a piece of wax paper on top and place a heavy book on your design to help it dry flat.
Once you start let's see if you can just stop at one...I have some ideas for some Christmas themed ones so check back for the templates.
See you next time.