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    Découpage

    IMGP0284Nestled in the green and gentle pre-Alps of western Switzerland is the Pays d‘Enhaut, an area which encompasses the communes of Château d’Oex, Rossinière and Rougemont, neighbors of the glamorous ski resort of Gstaad.  It is here that découpage found a cozy Swiss home in the early 1800s after about 600 years of travel from China.

    Découpage is the art of cutting intricate silhouetes from a single piece of paper, and the œuvres which you find from the Pays d’Enhaut depict traditional but idillic and romantic scenes centered around chalets, mountains, farm animals, plants and flowers.  The artists, of which there are few, use scissors, cutters and scalpels to achieve these scenes.  The paper from which the forms are cut is usually black and attached to a white background, but some artists also work with colored paper.

    Outside of the Pays d’Enhaut, it is rare to find Swiss découpage.  It is not taught in art schools or featured in art museums.  Rather, the most noted early artists were manual laborers who occasionally found the time to practice an uncanny talent, and through the generations this talent has been kept safe inside natural geographic boundaries, seldom venturing outside.