Scherenschnitte is a German papercutting style, which literally translated to “Scissors Cutting”. It arose in Germany in the 1500’s, and is now global with centers in Germany and Pennsylvania. This is one of the most popular modern styles of papercutting with a fairly large number of artists in America creating scherenschnitte. The scherenschnitte above was made by Luise Theil Bücher.
The topics and style tends to be silhouette-based representations of people, trees, animals, and structures. It has a very folk-art feeling and can range from simple to extremely complex designs. Occasionally, depending on the design and desired effect, scherenschnitte incorporate folding resulting in bilateral (or more) symmetry. Country scenes, religious events, and domestic topics are very popular topics in scherenschnitte.
Scherenschnitte artists include Susanne Schlapfer-Geiser, who published an amazing how-to book entirely illustrated with her work, Cindy, a fellow blogger, and Marie-Helene L. Grabman among many others. Artists traditionally use scissors to create their designs, but blades have become a popular tool for cutting the designs.