Sunday, July 31, 2011

Five Easy Ways to Decorate your Home with Silhouettes and Paper Cut Art works.

Silhouettes have been in style since early black etchings on cave walls. So, why not put them on your own wall too! In fact, adding silhouettes as decorations is fun and easy, you can do it yourself as a craft project or hire a professional.

The word silhouette applies to an organic shape, that is black on the inside. On Grecian Urns you see figures marching, on Egyptian artifacts you view hieroglyphics, icons, symbolic gods. Originally, black profiles were called Shades in England. Profiles were hand-painted with lamp soot on glass, pottery, or ceramic. In China, the paper cuttings were used in the world’s best culture—the Tang Dynasty, as embroidery patterns. I am enclosing a sample of one I did of a popular Asian Art theme for good luck. In China and Japan these are still considered “good luck” and they use popular silhouettes such as animals, fish, flowers, birds. Their choice of material is Rice Paper, which is sold in craft stores. They buy a self-forgiving mat, and use a scalpel, exacto knife, or sharp blade. There are patterns on the internet, that you can down-load and use. I bought my pattern from Dover Books.

1. To begin with, you can make table ware with a Sharpie Marker, and white or beige pottery. Snap a photo of a pet or person’s profile, reduce it to the size you want, cut it out. Use this as a pattern (template) to trace the contour. Then, fill it in with the marker. You can buy plain white or cream pottery at Pottery Barn, perhaps a dollar store, or Target. Grandma should love this contemporary keepsake. If you want to do this in a color, I suggest a dark color such as navy blue, or green, if you get too light, the shape will not show-up. You can also look on Etsy at and order silhouette mugs, and canvas bags. The canvas bags can be framed, and combined with oval silhouettes.

2. Take a photo, and send it to and Kathryn Flocken will send you three authentic silhouettes for just $25.00. She also has super inexpensive picture frames for $12 to $40, depending on material, and size. This also takes care of holiday gifts for grandparents and spouses. Silhouettes by Cindi also does silhouettes but charges more, as her site will only allow people to acquire silhouettes from archival, antique historic French silhouette paper ,and the silhouettes

are non-profit donations to either a pet cause, or The Rose Ribbon Foundation, 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) for those with cancer. They are $100 for three copies, but from ancient silhouette paper, 50 years old. Both artists do the real silhouettes without tracing or photo-shop. Cindi and Kathryn both worked at Walt Disney World as silhouette artists, both girls have fine art degrees, and can do lovely details in their work. This type of work is a lost art, and will only go up in value. You will want the signatures.

3. Photoshop, or trace. If you do not want to get the “Real McCoy” and feel crafty, just take a profile photo, put it on your computer, and fill it in, Photoshop style. You can also stand a subject near a window, turn the lights off, tape black construction paper on the shade or wall, shine a light or projector, trace the shadow (with pencil to erase markings later), then cut it out. You can also use colored paper, If you want this larger, just go to a FedEx or a copy machine and enlarge it. It will not be fine art, but it will make a warm and fuzzy memory, and a grand statement of your caring heart. I have attached a hand-cut silhouette I did of a couple facing one another, with a stylized look. This is how your

wall tracing should look, and you may want to keep it without an eyelash, to make it look clean. If you want the professional look and cannot cut the last out, draw in the eyelash.

4. Make silhouette fabric. Do this by having a professional silhouette artist make cool silhouettes of you and your family, full-figure, or just bust-line. Go to Spoonflowers, and decide a pattern, and order fabric. You can turn this into a bedspread for a

child’s room, cover a wall with it, or use it as a tablecloth. The sample I am enclosing, is one that I did for a bride and groom, to be at their table at their wedding. I also made a silhouette art apron for them, from the fabric.

5. My favorite last idea is to make huge wall silhouettes from contact paper. Buy sticky black contact paper from an art supply store, have a child, friend, or loved one lay upon it, outline the shape, and cut it out. Or put it outside in the sun, and trace an exact shadow, then cut that out. These images can be mysterious. You can stick them upon a quality card stock from an art store, in your choice of color, or apply them directly to a wall or window. One friend put a black silhouette of a couple (life size) in the window, and she says that it scares robbers away!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Museum Quality Silhouettes

Museum quality silhouettes

The type of art that you will find in museums or art galleries, can vary depending on the dialogue, subject matter and medium, but usually it has a human form attached to it. As a professional silhouette artist for over 35 years, I have realized that the term “silhouette” is broad-based. By definition, silhouette refers to the outside shape or contour of an object, usually black in the interior. The history of the beginnings of this style has been seen 32,000 years ago in primitive cave dwellings. Marching black figurative silhouettes are viewed on Grecian urns, and ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic icons. Beautiful silhouettes can also be documented in Chinese embroidery patterns used in the brilliant unprecedented Tang dynasty. These exquisite paper cuttings, are still used today as treasured templates for special occasions, most normally, cut from Rice paper.

The original black profile renderings were hand-painted on a surface such as glass, ceramic, or porcelain. They would be made with lamp soot, from a machine called a pantograph, which had two pens affixed to each other. A person would trace the shadow off the wall, one pen would copy it, and the other, would reduce it. The first silhouette noted was cut from paper in 1699 by Elizabeth Pyburg for King William and Queen Mary. The skill of hand-cutting a real profile, from a fine profile portrait artist, was not mastered until around 1761 when Robert Hinchliffe of Sheffield cast steel to make scissors in London and became a manufacturer and purveyor of high-quality scissors. Around this time a professional paper portrait artist named Isabella Beetham made career from her genius-art ability to master the scissors profile. This has always been the most difficult silhouette art to master, as it is not from a shadow, or light. There is no “cheating” for the true silhouette artist. By accident, I discovered this art, after being a natural portrait and fine artist. The art talent was inherited, and this is true of all silhouette artists, their talents come from generations of artists, all great silhouette artists are also talented portrait artists.

From a collector’s point-of-view, the value of the silhouette art piece you acquire value, depends on the history associated with it or the dialogue that it may engage you in—such as Kara Walker’s large silhouettes depicting slavery, abuse, and negative thought. Other famous museum silhouettes are Charles Dickens’ character silhouettes depicting personality, and movement, or Edourt’s historic statesmen and Presidential silhouettes which show fashion, career, and personality. Edourt named the “shade” silhouette, after Etienne de Silhouette, a French minister of Finance who was known for cutting pensions, and for his love of the black profile cut- arts.

Most amusement park-style silhouette artists, do not render their talents further, than an attempt to recreate a person’s profile. This is a remarkable skill, but that treasure varies depending on the person creating this rare, lost art. The most skilled of these current silhouette artists, do many interior cut-outs, and can cut groupings; one face into another face. The artists that can only paste single silhouettes individually, not as a puzzle, have not fully mastered the art.

The solid black silhouettes are easier to master, yet are quite decorative, and may find a home in a stylish boutique. The internet photo- shopped silhouettes, do not take a talent to do, and will never find a home in an art gallery or museum, unless it is of a popular cult figure such as Lady Gaga, signed by her, or a President. These can be ordered by sites in colors of large scale, they are trendy and chic. They also are popular at weddings, on napkins, pendants mugs, gift-bags and center-pieces.

The prestigious Peggy McClard Gallery of antique, Victorian-style collectable silhouettes has honored me with the fabulous chance to repair precious, historic silhouettes hand-cut by Augustin Edourt, the most prolific American and European freehand silhouette artist. If you are interested in purchasing a collector’s piece, that would be an excellent place to begin your search, on e-bay, the site antiquesilhouettes, Richard Mole, or directly in antique shops in Europe, a heirloom, or keepsake, forever.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Origin Magazine

Origin Magazine
Silhouettes by Cindi Harwood Rose is now covering art + philantrophy for the national magazine, Origin.
Follow cultural, mind/body, health, wellness, galleries, art scene, giving. Deepak Chopra is also contributing,
I am proud of the publisher, Maranda Pleasant for her vision for the universe.
\ Column by Cindi Rose p. 4 and 5.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Silhouette for Vienna Giraldi

Silhouette artist, Cindi Rose, sculpts Vienna Giraldi’s new nose, for her plastic surgeon husband, Dr. Franklin Rose to use as a guide, while Bachelor Pad star Erica Rose, scrubs in, too.

Dr. Franklin Rose, MD, and board-certified plastic surgeon did a “nose job” for Bachelor Pad contestant, Vienna Giraldi, who used to be engaged to The Bachelor Jake Pavelka. While filming, the soon to air ABC hit show, she mentioned to her friend, Erica Rose, that she would like her nose done.

Erica had Vienna fly in to Houston, picked her up at the airport and nurse her to recovery. While at the O.R., Erica’s mom, and Dr. Rose’s wife, Cindi Rose, took out her silhouette surgical scissors, and cut a silhouette of Vienna’s nose before, and then, what it would look like afterwards. Vienna said, “I love the silhouette, it will remind me why I am having my nose done.” Her nose was prettier from the side than front, and was crocked, so Dr. Rose corrected that.

Vienna house-guested with the Rose’s asking for ice cream and mashed potatoes with tons of cheddar cheese. Erica then picked up Vienna’s latest boyfriend, Bachelor Pad contestant, Casey Kahl. Vienna was just a few days post-op so Erica entertained him in Houston, Texas at a sporting event. Inspired by Vienna’s short hair-do, and no-extensions. Erica took hers out! Now the two girls look like sisters. No wonder Jake Pavelka was attracted to Erica Rose on Bachelor Pad. Watch the show August 8, for six weeks on Mondays on ABC and see the sparks fly. Question does Vienna want to look like Erica, or does Erica want to look like Vienna? Both of the above? None of the above?

Here you see a peak of celebrity reality star Vienna’s new nose, as sculpted by Cindi Harwood Rose, in less than two minutes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

History of Silhouettes

Premier Silhouette Artists Cindi Rose; History of

Oh so trendy, are silhouettes today, and yesterday. After the scissors were invented in the 1700’s, silhouette cutting reached a new dimension. The camera was not around, and the only way the wealthy could capture their appearance

was from a painted portrait. This was done by sittings, usually taking over a week, often a month! One intelligent portrait artist figured out, in less time, they could hand-cut the profile from paper, and do around 50 or so people per day, through print

advertising. This would generate more revenue, than the handsome fee from one huge royal portrait sitting. Silhouettes soon became the rage during 1750’s to around 1870, especially due to J. L. Lavatar’s book on physiognomy; the study of the facial features compared to personality. At one point silhouettes were called “shades, paper profile cuts, or papyrus cut arts” Silhouette artists were in their hay-day. Still, the authentic ones were hard to find. A machine was invented called a Physiotrace, and it traced a shadow off the wall, and reduced it to miniature. It only shot out the outside of the silhouette called the hollow-cut (the part most real silhouette artists throw away), and that would be mounted on black velvet, or fabric. It was Augustin Edouart, who was shocked at these “impostor” silhouettes, and brought the real hand-cut from sight silhouettes back in style, mostly by being the world’s most prolific silhouette artist, and America’s premier silhouette artist. He renamed the art, silhouette, after Etienne de Silhouette, a former French minister of finance, who loved shades (silhouette profile cuts). Mr. Silhouette was not popular for his ways of cutting the budget. The term silhouette was not a nice term. People would wear all black, to show their sorrow at the frugal style Etienne was proposing. They would dress, “A la silhouette”, very New York, I should say! But, Augustin brought elegance to the word silhouette, and captured the style and wardrobe of President’s and leading business men in England and America. Today, the best silhouette artists capture personality, style, and soul. They dig deeper than a photo or photoshop shadow would, they talk to you. A real silhouette, is not what the school teachers traced off the walls. It is done by a true artist, who sees shape, form, proportion.

When the camera was invented in around 1870, sort-of from the physiotrace machine, silhouette artists lost their popularity, for the “modern age.”

Portraits in oils were expensive in the 1700’s, and hand-cut silhouettes were not. Some artists, found that they only could paint the silhouette and used ceramic and glass to do this on. They still charged a little less than the full-color portraits, as they only used the color black. In those days, black was made from lamp soot, or crushing all the things in nature they could find, and mixing it up with linseed (flax seed) oil. These valuable items are rare to find, but the Peggy McClard Gallery, often gets them in. I purchased the most gorgeous rose gold pendant with a hand-painted silhouette in it from 1825, Peggy said it used to be on a bracelet. She also has Edourt’s worth $30,000!

The hand-painted silhouettes often have details drawn into them, like a line drawing, with a white or gold-leafed feather pen. Some even had fabric pasted, and bits of human hair!

The mystery of the question, is why has it always been difficult to find real silhouette artists? I majored in Fine Arts at University of Texas, and was a practicing silhouette artist, since I was a teen. I tried to teach the art to other

great art majors, and found that the art of hand-cutting a real, authentic silhouette without a shadow or light or pencil drawing first, is not teachable. There is a fabulous book, Silhouettes Rediscovering The Lost Art, that attempts in step-by-step form to teach this art. However, when you read Kathryn Flocken’s bio, you see she has a degree in fine arts, and is a portrait artist. I interviewed her, and she said with the 10,000 books she has sold, she has only heard of a few people who picked up the art with great talent and skill. Those few were wonderful portrait artists, and were from lines of incredible artists. I still recommend this book, to all who want to view inside the mind of a real accomplished silhouette artist.

Then, I have seen that many silhouette artists claim they are from generations of silhouette artists. That means that everyone in their family must be art-gifted. Sort-of the apple does not fall far from the tree theory. The real question is why does the art of silhouette cutting by hand still fascinate the artist who can do this, and those that watch the artist do this. The other silhouette artists I have met in the over 35 years of cutting silhouettes are just “in love” with doing silhouettes. The scissors is their window into the world. Many travel from city to city, and live in nature, some do other arts, such as music, culinary skills, or carpentry. I love doing silhouettes at weddings, I feel it blesses the bride and groom and all their guests.

True silhouette artists use only scissors, and thin, black paper. They look and cut. If they are not talented, all get a generic face, the best silhouette artists capture your face, your style, and add their style. I have enclosed some of my silhouettes on this blog, and you can look at my website; or my friend’s website; and see what details a fine silhouette artist can achieve. When you purchase a silhouette, make sure it was not a photocopy, computer scanned, or clumsy wall-traced cousin to this art. View the artist’s details—are their cut-outs inside the work, do they vary the bust-line, do they understand the difference in hair-styles, do they make serious people look serious, and wild individuals look free? The best silhouette artists capture face, profile, spirit, dress, style, and leave you feeling good about yourself. They give you your shadow. You are Peter Pan, and you do not have to “grow-up”. You have your shadow, forever as a heirloom. A fabulous silhouette will last forever, and be a timeless treasure.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Silhouettes by Cindi with the Susan B. Komen Foundation

Houstonian/Aspenite Lee Williams with Victoria Brink
Cindi Rose and Sandy Israel, founder of Susan B. Komen, Aspen
Michelle Gonzalez (of Houston/Aspen and Mara Cates

Roberta Miller (hostess) and Cindi Rose, honoree.

Susan B. Komen foundation of Aspen, Colorado honored master Silhouette artist, Cindi Harwood Rose, for her work with Silhouettes for Survivors with many Cancer foundations, including Komen, Rose Ribbon Foundation, Cancer Counseling, and Blue Cure.

At the luncheon, the Komen Foundation celebrated 21 years of Komen races in the Aspen area to their key donors. The Race was Saturday in Aspen, Colorado, July 16, 2011.

Cindi Rose did a silhouette of all 40 guests at the “invitation only” luncheon which included a lovely menu of roasted organic vegetables, grilled salmon, salad, fruit, and an array of desserts. There was also a 30 minute program, which included an informal speech by Rose about how her Silhouettes for Survivors, not only help cancer patients survive through her donations to cancer non-profits, but also helps the lost art of silhouette cutting survive as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How to have a Great Silhouette Wedding

How to have a great silhouette wedding

It is so in-vogue to have a personal silhouette theme for your wedding. You can imprint your engagement invitations with a custom silhouette of the two of you as shown by silhouettesbycindi or Later, a custom wedding invitation can be made, and examples of that are on the blog by silhouette sisters Kathryn and Cindi. At the engagement party, you can offer silhouette cookies as shown on Cindi Harwood Rose’s blog, or you can trace a shadow of the bride and groom off the wall, and order festive silhouette cookies from Victor Trading Company. Tracing the bride and groom’s silhouette is a fun craft, but it will not be as detailed, as one done by a premier paper-cutting profile artist. There are only a few skilled silhouette artists in the world, so it is best to do your research, making sure the artist you select, can acquire a good likeness. The best silhouette artists, do not trace off the wall. They are fine artists, who hand-cut the paper portrait from a profile photo sent to them by e-mail, or from life. These silhouette artists are skilled portrait artists, and actually can draw with scissors, without having to sketch. They have fine arts degrees from fine universities, and are self-taught from natural talents. Many have done silhouettes for three generations or more. There are only around 10 superb silhouette artists in the universe who do the lovely interior details, giving each person their unique profile.

To make your wedding day over-the-top, it is special to hire a top silhouette artist, which can be done from the Silhouette Ladies. The artist should be able to do at least 30 silhouettes per hour, but you can hire two artist such as Kathryn Flocken and C.Harwood Rose in the United States or Charles Burns and Sarah Goddard in the UK. This is wonderful if you have 300 to 500 guests.

A black and white theme is stylish and fashionable. Sometimes the bride wears a black sash at her waist to embellish this theme.

Silhouettest Cindi Rose has created custom bride and groom table cloths which add to the silhouette wedding d├ęcor.

The Silhouette Sisters also can put your silhouette on candy boxes, tote bags, mugs, or pendants, and cuff-links, as gifts to bridesmaids and grooms, or all wedding guests. Both C. Rose and K. Flocken offer two silhouettes at the weddings; one for each guest, mounted on 5 x 7 lovely cards, and one for an heirloom guest book signed at the wedding, and treasured for years to come.

You can also view Kathryn Flocken or Cindi Rose on You Tube, cutting silhouettes at weddings and engagement parties.

The tradition of hand-cutting silhouettes at weddings historically began in the late 1700’s, and the popularity of silhouette artists at weddings is still timeless today.

Pet Silhouettes by Cindi

Pet silhouette pendants by Cindi Rose. Get a contemporary silhouette necklace or cuff links of your pet, and donate either to Citizens for Animal Protection, Rose Ribbon Foundation, or Pet Smart. Very easy to do. Just go to and e-mail a profile photo of your pet. I will send you the rest of the details. Get a timeless cherished gift of your best friend. This photo by Herb Hochman is from a Pet Smart event, where I will donate a necklace and cufflinks to an upcoming silent auction.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cindi Making Silhouettes for Susan B. Komen

21 years of Susan B. Komen in Aspen, Colorado preventing cancer. I will do silhouettes at the luncheon for the major contributors to Komen, July 12.