Chinese Paper Cutting or Jianzhi (剪纸 jiǎn zhǐ) is the first type of
papercutting design, since paper was invented by Cai Lun in the Eastern Han
Dynasty in China. The art form later spread to other parts of the world with
different regions adopting their own cultural styles.
Because the cut outs are also used to decorate doors and windows, they are
sometimes referred to 窗花(chuāng huā), meaning Window Flower.
Basic steps: Preparing your scissors or knife – folding paper – drawing
cutting lines – cutting the paper
[zhé zhǐ] 折纸 folding paper
[huà cǎo tú] 画草图 drawing cutting lines
[jiǎn zhǐ] 剪纸 cutting the paper
There are two methods of manufacture: one uses scissors(剪子jiǎn zi), the other
uses knives(刀 dāo). In the scissor method, several pieces of paper — up to eight
— are fastened together. The motif is then cut with sharp, pointed scissors.
Knife cuttings are fashioned by putting several layers of paper on a
relatively soft foundation consisting of a mixture of tallow and ashes.
Following a pattern, the artist cuts the motif into the paper with a sharp knife
which is usually held vertically. Skilled crafters can even cut out different
drawings freely without stopping.