Saturday, October 30, 2010

Polish Papers

One of the folk crafts that I love the most is decorative papercutting,
an art form which has evolved into various unique styles in different areas of the world. 
From Chinese Jan Zhi to Swiss and German Scherenschnitte, to Mexican Papel Picado,
I enjoy them all, and hope in time to feature each style on Animalarium.

Image from the beautiful Polish blog Cebrita.

Polish Wycinanki is one of the most colorful and charming papercutting traditions.
They became popular around the mid-1800's, and were used by peasants 
to decorate the whitewashed walls, furniture and wooden ceiling beams of their cottages, 
or to give as giftsThe intricate decorations are formed by multiple layers of colored paper 
which are folded, cut, torn, and sometimes embossed to create stylized patterns. 
The subjects represented are peacocks, roosters and other birds, 
as well as flowers and annual festivities. 

Styles vary by region; the most basic is the single color tradition from the Kurpie district.

The multicolor Lowicz Wycinanki developed in the more prosperous region west of Warsaw. 
These elegant, elaborately cut and arranged paper overlays were displayed tandem style 
over the windows, doorways, and walls of rural homes.  

image from Lowicz Wycinanki gallery at

Design from Kickcan and Conkers.

One of the few books about Wycinanki available on amazon. 

A contemporary Wycinanki inspired decoration by Grzegorz Wacławek
from Lou et Tom, a lovely blog about the adventures of a French family in Poland.

 Wycinanki Bird Cards at Pressbound.

A Gathering of Birds by Wycinanki artist Susan L. Throckmorton 

 Typographic Wycinanki illustration at Cebrita.

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog post on Wycinanki. Check out for lots of fantastic Polish designs using wycinanki.



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