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Mexican Papercutting: Simple Techniques for Creating Colorful Cut-Paper Projects Paperback – 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Cut-paper craft is practiced in many countries and has a common technique with regional variations in design. In Mexico it dates back to pre-Columbian times and is passed from generation to generation in family workshops. Trenchard summarizes the history and use of cut paper in Mexico and continues with projects including banners, luminarias (paper bag candle holders), masks, and an elaborate window curtain. The designs are less complex than the German cut-paper designs found in Susanne Schlapfer-Geiser's Scherenschnitte (LJ 6/15/97), with many being similar to familiar cut-paper snowflakes. Suitable for both craft and folk-art collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 1st edition (1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579900119
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579900113
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have other books on paper cutting, but this book is different from the rest for two reasons. First, in addition to the more usual scissors and craft knives, it demonstrates the use of chisels, in a variety of sizes and shapes, for cutting paper. The second difference is that the projects in this book are not only decorative but practical. For example, using the pattern for a cut paper curtain in this book, I was able to transform a large window in my kitchen from an eyesore to a light show. On a sunny day, the sun comes through the holes in the "curtain" and throws flower shapes on the cabinets and furniture. As the sun moves across the sky, the flowers appear to "bloom". The whole project took about two or three hours from start to finish.
I thought the curtain was a fairly easy project. There are other projects that seem a lot more complicated. To use this book, be prepared to do a fair amount of reading and re-reading to make sure you understand each step. There are helpful photo demonstrations for some of the projects.
One other point: I found it difficult to use craft knives and scissors to reproduce these designs, especially designs with many folds, but it was incredibly easy to achieve authentically "Mexican"-looking results by punching the designs into the paper using wood chisels. This is because many of the designs just repeat the same cut shapes over and over again. But a good chisel is expensive, and too dangerous for kids to use.
You can also invent your own projects. My favorite source for decorative flower patterns that can be adapted to cut paperwork is Linda Parry's book on William Morris. If I could only have one book on paper cutting, this is the one I would want.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
As a Spanish teacher, this book is a great reference for papel picado. The pictures are beautiful and in some cases awe inspiring. While the projects in this book are somewhat complex, I had no trouble simplifying them for use in the classroom. We now have several colorful strings of picados adorning the walls of our classroom for all to enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1998
Format: Paperback
Kathleen Trenchard really knows her stuff when it comes to Mexican papel picado. Her book is a marvelous collection of designs, history, explanation, and do-it-yourself ideas to make these paper decorations. One-of-a-kind!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book did a wonderful job of describing the 'how tos' of paper cutting. It contains detailed and easy to follow intructions on the art of paper cutting (both modern and traditional), with a variety of patterns for all levels. Also included is a brief, but interesting history on the art of paper cutting. A good book for beginners.
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