Filigree tradition full of proud memories

Silhouette art from the Simmental

Traditions are preserved when they are lived and passed on. In the Simmental, people still take the time to make paper cuttings today - and so this tradition is still alive here.

From China to the Simmental

The art of paper cutting originated in China and is as old as the beginnings of paper production. In Switzerland, this craft has its roots in the Bernese Oberland. Johann Jakob Hauswirth is considered the father of traditional Swiss paper cutting. He brought paper cutting to the Saanenland in the 18th century. His best-known motif, the Alpine procession, is a reminder of the original life in the mountains.

Stories that life writes

In the past, silhouettes traditionally depicted the lives of farmers

In these biographies you can recognize good and bad harvest times, when the son was born or when the daughter got married. The silhouette often shows a hard and yet very proud life. Today, there are CVs of all kinds, for example that of a florist or a dentist. It takes three hours to draw a CV with a diameter of around 30 centimetres and then around 40 hours to cut it. "For me, this is my way of switching off and calming down. Others go to yoga, I retreat to my studio and work on my cuts," explains Elisabeth Beutler, a well-known Simmental silhouette artist.

Creativity, patience and a relaxed attitude

It doesn't take much: a black piece of paper, good light, pencil and eraser

And, of course, a good pair of scissors - particularly robust and sharp. It's fascinating how little material is needed to create something that has great emotional value for people.

Just go for it

"I certainly can't do that!" Or "this work is far too delicate for me", Elisabeth Beutler often hears. The best thing for the paper-cutting artist is to see how someone who had such doubts grows beyond themselves and is all the more pleased with the successful cut at the end. Creativity, patience and, above all, a self-confident dose of looseness are the secret ingredients for a beautiful paper cut. If you are tense and determined, it will go wrong, so just cut away and marvel at your own work of art.