Monday, March 30, 2009

Memory Silhouettes

I have always loved silhouettes. As portraits they are abstract yet surprisingly intimate. With silhouettes, I find myself noticing the neglected - a curvature of a chin, the sweep of an eyelash. The subtleties we took for granted are suddenly realized.

(According to Wikipedia, Etienne de Silhouette was a French finance minister during a severe credit crisis (sound familiar?) He created cut paper portraits as an alternative to expensive and frivolous portraitures. Silhouettes were popular from 1790 until 1840, when photography took over as a primary means of remembering.)

Etsy's Diffractionfiber creates elegant sewn silhouettes. Just send a picture of someone in profile (strange how we neglect this angle, even with the abundance of photography!) You can order a brooch made from eco-friendly felt and cloth, or a pillow.

Le Papier Studio also creates customized silhouettes as group portraits, as well as these lovely lockets.

This is the essence of memory at its best, and I hope that we all take the time to make silhouettes of those we love while we can.

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