10 Things You Might Not Know About Traditional Chinese Paper Cutting

  1. It has been around for thousands of years as a generational folk art of women. Village women of grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and grand daughters made paper cutouts after a day’s housework to pass time, bond, or earn extra income.
  2. It is a regional craft and paper cutouts can look dramatically different from town to town, and province to province.
  3. The paper is often folded at least once over to produce repeated patterns before cutting.
  4. Because paper cutting are used for festivities and celebrations, the artists tend to choose what are considered the most auspicious, lucky colors such as red and gold.
  5. There are two schools of cutting artists using either scissors (household/sewing) or knives (specially made). They do not always appreciate the cutting method that they do not use themselves.
  6. Paper cutouts were almost never framed in the past. People glued them to windows, doors, and walls and then discarded them after the occasions.
  7. Some paper cutting masters do not draw or use templates and just cut from the mind.
  8. Paper cutting templates were used for lanterns, embroidery, textiles, and many more.
  9. There are four greatest Chinese inventions, paper is one of them (along with compass, gun powder, and wood block print). The invention of paper clearly made paper cutting possible.
  10. Before the invention of paper, craftsmen were cutting leather, and silver and gold foil, creating artworks similar to paper cutouts.

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