THE ART OF PAPERCUTTING  
  by: LH Yap  


 SHORT COURSE ON
THE ART OF PAPERCUTTING
 

The purpose of this course is to preserve the traditional art of papercutting and to share the skills with others. The art of papercutting is useful for young and old alike. It is a good craft to relax, be creative, release tension, increase patience and in so doing allow for artistic development.


LEARNING OBJECTIVES:


At the end of this course, the learners should be able:
      To make some papercutting for different occasions.
      To create papercutting using various traditional techniques.
      To tell when the first papercuts was created.
      To understand why Chinese papercuts are usually made on red paper.
      To list the main tools for papercutting.
      To describe the meaning of the fish pattern and spring pattern.
      To know when is the Chinese Valentine Day.



 HISTORY OF CHINESE PAPERCUTS  

Papercutting is a traditional art originally created in China. The first papercut can be traced date back to the period known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties (A.D. 386-581). The earliest patterns cut out of paper so far found in China are the ones of the Northern Dynasties Period (A.D. 386-581), examples of which are five circular papercuts unearthed from a place near Flaming Mountain in Turpan, Xinjiang. Among these are two papercuts of a pair of monkeys and several pairs of horses.

In the T'ang Dynasty (A.D. 618-906) papercuts are the subject of a poem by the poet Ts'ui Tao-yung and from other sources of this period they are described as being used to decorate plants and worn by ladies in their hair in form of butterflies and flowers.

Paper cutting has been used to decorate for New Year celebrations, weddings, ancestor worship and other religious celebrations as well as given as gifts. Papercutting are very popular in the countryside and usually made by women. This used to be one of the crafts that every girl was to master and often used to judge brides.

The main tools and materials for papercutting are scissors, engraving knife, ruler, pencil, paper and paper pins.


 BASIC STEPS OF PAPERCUTS  

Prepare your template design.

Cut the inner smaller holes first.

Cut along the outter shape.

Remove the cut-in parts.

Unfold your cut-out.

A template and a paper-cut.

Two single fold designs.

The completed works.


 ASSESSMENT  

Answer the following questions:

1.       When did the first papercuts created?
2.       What are the main tools and materials for papercutting?
3.       Why Chinese paper cuttings are usually made on red paper?
4.       When is the Chinese Valentine Day?
5.       What is the meaning of the fish pattern?
6.       What is the meaning of the spring pattern?


 REFERENCES  


01.         http://www.isaacnet.com/culture/papercut.htm

02.         http://qi-journal.com/culture.asp?-token.SearchID=Papercut

03.         http://khimairafarm.com/papercut.htm

04.         http://www.west-meet-east.com/artcpaper.htm