About Keith DonaldsonSilhouettes are considered the oldest art form in the world. Early cave drawings originated with shadows. The Chinese were cutting shadows even 4,000 years ago. But it was not untill the 1780's that profile silhouettes seemed to make their debut in France, named after a French finance minister.
Silhouettes, or shadows seem to be almost archetypes. A silhouette is an icon that transcends all color, texture and dimension. They not only catch our eye but also allow our mind the freedom to "fill in" the negative area. With the resurgence of old things becoming new again, silhouettes are becoming a much coveted item once again.
Only when you have had a loved ones silhouette in your care can you really appreciate the growing sentimental value and timeless quality that is attached to what becomes an heirloom. Handmade silhouettes take on an emotional characteristic and smoothness that is lacking in digital representations. Dai Vernon, the famous magician who secured a living in cutting silhouettes is quoted as saying, "No photographic art can supplant the genius of the true artist in the interpretation of personality".
When you purchase a silhouette by a professional silhouette artist, you are also talking home a piece of history. Silhouettes have now become a "lost" art. There are, in my estimate, only a dozen or so accurate professional cutters in this country.