In high school I worked at a Polish import store that sold wycinanka, traditional paper cuts. I was told that these delicate constructions were cut with sheep shearing scissors. I have loved cut paper ever since then. Here are some examples of papercuts and some examples of scissors.
This Polish rooster is visiting with a Chinese bird and butterfly and with a rooster from Indonesia. Below are some Papel Picados from Mexico.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s Lotte Reiniger made animated movies out of cut paper silhouettes. Here is a link to one about Papageno.
She cut with sharp knives, but I like to imagine her using these scissors:
I have been snipping at paper for about 1o years and had a show of papercuts in 2006, which included Adam and Eve (5 feet tall),
and these smaller fruit pickers (10 inches tall).
I love the symmetry of traditional paper cuts, but illustrations for stories sometimes need unsymmetrical parts. Here is my illustration for the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
and here is one for a juicy poem by Julie Larios.
Here is a celebration of bicycling and hats.
If you are interested in working with paper please take a look at the book Creating With Paper by Pauline Johnson and Hazel Koenig. It was first published in 1958 and it is still fresh.
To wrap things up here is a poem by David Mason, followed by two more Polish papercuts.