Today is Mother’s Day. So I am naturally thinking of my own mom. We lost her two years ago, but she will always be a source of inspiration for my work as a reuse artist.
My fascination with papercutting comes directly from my mother. Mom loved to salvage beautiful pictures from magazines for use in a Sunday School class or to incorporate in a craft project. She had boxes of glossy magazine pictures and church bulletin covers and catalogs that I loved to rummage through as a child just to look at the pictures. She cut tiny thumbnails of craft kit pictures from catalogs to incorporate into flash cube ornaments. She cut up greeting cards to fashion three-dimensional dioramas, carefully and meticulously snipping out figures and animals and buildings. She decoupaged images that captured her fancy onto eggshells and ceramics and wooden plaques.
Mom eventually discovered scherenschnitte, and spent hours in her 7th and 8th decade of life cutting out intricate silhouettes. She even used papercutting as a form of self-imposed physical therapy after she broke multiple bones in her hands during a bad fall.
I discovered the serenity and soothing nature of papercutting for myself during the last few year’s of my Mom’s life. As her mobility and her health grew weaker, I spent time visiting her just sitting quietly by her side as we worked on crafts together or as she napped in her bed. I found that papercutting was a portable craft that I could manage in a small space. I was naturally drawn to salvaging vintage greeting cards, and all I needed was a basket of cards, a pair of scissors and her bedside table to hold the growing pile of cuttings that I snipped out during each visit.
I work on many different types of reuse art and craft, but I find that papercutting is a task that provides an instant and comforting connection back to Mom. Thank you Mom, for living on in my work. I miss you…