Shadow Paper Cutting – a Timeless Craft by a Contemporary Artist

Shadow Paper Cutting by Daniel Frisbee
“Art Nouveau Peacock”

Shadow Paper Cutting by Daniel Frisbee

As school children most of us remember gleefully cutting out snowflakes and Halloween pumpkins from folded paper.

But did you know that the art of cutting shapes out paper has its origins in ancient China?

This simple craft of cutting out designs in paper spread from China to other countries in Asia and Europe.

The craft of “Scherenschnitte”, which means “scissor cuts” is derived from the technique of cutting out one piece of paper in a continuous design.

This style of paper cutting is still a popular folk artform found in many German-speaking countries such as Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

It is a believed that this love of paper cutouts way brought to America with the Pennsylvania Dutch, a cultural group that was actually formed of German immigrants (not from the Netherlands) who settled in and around the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Artist Daniel Frisbee

However, now this wonderful craft is undergoing a renaissance and modern artists like Daniel Frisbee are creating amazing art pieces of astonishing intricacy and complexity using little more than paper, a blade and raw talent.

Daniel refers to his style of paper cutting as “Shadow Paper Cutting”. Shadow paper cutting is a modern technique based on silhouettes.

But instead of using the more traditional theme of using solid blacks on a white background, Daniel highlights his subject matter by using hundreds of lace-like cutouts placed on a shimmering gold backdrop.

Daniel Frisbee will be demonstrating his wonderful imagery this Saturday, inside Mountain Made from 12PM to 3PM.


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