Monday, September 20, 2010

The Art of The Profile

Monday, September 20, 2010
There is something striking about a good profile.  It always seems you capture something about someone when they are turned away, as though the shield of their stare has been lifted and a glimpse of their true self is revealed. . .

The art of the silhouette was first practiced in the early 1700's, but is an art that has carried on virtually unceasingly until today.  It's a classic expression of art with a decidedly personal turn.  And you no longer need an artist to cut one for you.

In fact, you need not limit yourself to paper.  Or people.  Take this example of a teapot cut from white felt and sewn on gray felt and hung on the wall in an embroidery hoop.

And the background need not be white.  It can be patterned like this silhouette of my daughter.

The classic beauty of black on white is, however, quite striking.  Creating a silhouette of your child makes it personal.  And painting it on a pillow makes it interesting. . .

This pillow is of Virginia Woolf, but I am creating one with my daughter's profile on it, so I will show you how it's done, then (if you are feeling crafty) you can create one of your loved one.

You will need: fabric, a picture of your child (or whatever you want a silhouette of), freezer paper, scissors or exacto knife, a pen, an iron, and paint .  I am using regular spray paint.  It holds up well and is still very pliable when painted, but if you want you can buy fabric paint.

Place your silhouette picture under the freezer paper and trace it.  You want the freezer paper to be large enough to cover the fabric so you avoid over spray.

Then cut out the silhouette.  An exacto knife makes this a quick job. If you are not using black or a dark color, be careful to cut away all the ink so it doesn't bleed onto your fabric when you spray it.

Iron the freezer paper to your fabric (be sure the coated side is down--that is what adheres to the fabric). If you have spots exposed iron on more sections of freezer paper.  I had only small strips along the edge so I taped them.

In a ventilated area, or outside, spray the exposed fabric.  Let dry.

Peel the stencil off to reveal your silhouette!

I still need to sew the rest of the pillow, but I am pleased with the way the silhouette turned out.

Have you made any interesting silhouettes lately?


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