Monday, April 5, 2010

Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt . . .

I love silhouettes.

I finally got my children's silhouettes made on Saturday. I'm pretty pleased with them, especially my son's as it showcases his curls.




Do they remind you of this?  Or am I just showing my age?

Getting silhouettes made of my children has been on my to-do list for quite some time. I actually got my daughter's silhouette cut when she was about 18 months old and put it in a file for safe-keeping. It's now so safe, I can't find the file. It's been missing ever since we moved four years ago. I'm sure it will pop up eventually, right?

So, to avoid that issue, this time I'm getting these silhouettes framed very soon and hanging them on the wall somewhere. I might even include my own much larger, less attractive silhouette from preschool.
I remember my teacher made mine by making me sit in front of a projector, then simply tracing my silhouette on a piece of paper and cutting it out. 

Clay Rice, the artist who cut my children's silhouettes, did it the old-fashioned way by having them sit sideways, looking straight ahead (in the middle of a very busy local toy store, by the way) in front of a small light while he snipped away their likeness with tiny scissors on what appeared to be black contact paper. Then he peeled away the backing and stuck it to a piece of white card stock with his John Hancock already scrawled out. The whole thing took maybe five minutes. Pretty impressive. He also wrote and illustrated this book.

Silhouette cutting dates back to early 17th century France when artists were hired to entertain royalty with their free-hand cuttings of lords and ladies in all of their elaborate finery and hair-pieces.  Silhouettes are, in fact, named after the French Minister of Finance in 1759 Etienne de Silhouette whose unfair tax policies created much misery for the people of France but who spent many hours practicing his favorite pastime of cutting portraits out of paper.
 
These days there are lots of options for having silhouettes made. I know several companies (Simply Silhouettes, Gibson Lane Studio, Fontaine Maury and some Etsy sellers) who will produce a silhouette on practically any surface including plates, bags, pillows and stationery, as well as removable wall art. All very cool options. 


However, I still love the simplicity of the original black and white. You can't go wrong with a classic.


I love the gallery wall idea . . . 


Or maybe just propped on a shelf. Now, I just need to get some shelves.

I love these silhouettes that blogger Stephanie Nielson of the Nie Nie Dialogues made of her family and hung together (if you haven't read her blog, it's truly inspiring). I wish I were crafty enough to do this myself. Maybe one day . . . 

I'm digging these white ones on colored backgrounds. A very crisp and modern version . . .

How about these classic silhouettes as the only art on this fabulous graphic wallpaper? Love it.

You just can't go wrong with silhouettes. Clean, classic, retro or modern. What's your favorite?

Sources: MIL, Amazon, Portraits in Silhouette, Simply Silhouettes, Domino, Country Living, Nie Nie Dialogues, Delightfully Random via Blue Hydrangea, Martha Stewart

8 comments:

Angela said...

Thanks so much for mentioning us. And I have to agree - although we offer lots of options to personalize silhouettes, the classic black and white is still my favorite.

Sarah Bartholomew said...

I love a classic black and white. My mother still has our childhood silhouettes up in her hall. Great post!

bluehydrangea said...

Love, love. love your silhouettes!! How lucky that you have one of you as a child! And I had to laugh about you putting your daughter's away somewhere safe, I do the exact same thing. My husband will even say "don't put this somewhere safe, please!"

My Interior Life said...

Angela - Thanks for stopping by - I love Simply Silhouettes!

Thanks, Sarah and Sissy. Sissy, we sound a lot alike in that respect. I should never put things away for safe-keeping ever again!

sarah, flourish design + style said...

Love your silhouettes! Your collection of inspiration is amazing too! xoxo

Matt said...

I'm digging the electric company link. Good job Bug!!

Susan said...

I loved our silhouettes as well. I do think Pierce's turned out by far the best. Now I need to find a the perfect place for them.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering where you found the yellow and white zig-zag pattern pillow and if if came with the silhouette on it or if you had it customized?