Silhouette, gentille Silhouette

My interest in silhouettes harks back to the birth of my puppet-making hobby. One day I found an antique Indonesian shadow puppet in our dark and dusty attic; a very elaborate, detailed, exquisitely intricate paper cut-out,  that would cast the most fantastic creature capering across the walls with its riveted joints. Ever since making this discovery, I’ve loved the art of paper craft.

My yearly Halloween decorations can be pretty anemic but I always carve out time for pumpkin butchery and at least one window silhouette. The window treatments seem to have become very popular lately. Or they’ve always been popular and I just haven’t been paying attention. But there are tons of pre-made figures and scenes to choose from in just about any store with a Halloween section.

I opt to make my own. Construction paper or poster board, tissue paper, scissors, an exacto knife and scotch tape are all you need to make beautiful inexpensive spooky fun. My result for this year, view from outside:

A couple of things to keep in mind for this project —

1.) Cats love tissue paper. They are almost as magnetically attracted to it as scotch tape.

2.) Scotch taping tissue paper takes patience. If you are prone to fits of rage and shouting vulgarities at uncooperative inanimate objects like me, give yourself ample time to crumple up at least four attempts before getting the final look just right.

2.) If you’re using poster board, the weight can make cutting significantly more difficult. This is not a carpal tunnel-friendly exercise. It took me almost a week to finish this cutting because I had to keep taking breaks. Construction paper is far easier to slice and dice and, therefore, far easier to destroy.

Google Image searches are great ways to get inspired. Here is one of my favorite examples of silhouettry by artist Jan Pienkowski (set to the beautiful Nox Arcana),

And another joyfully morbid idea: Kilhouettes!


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