#madewithheart | Lowicz, Poland

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#madewithheart |n Poland


A traditional folk art of Poland and surrounding regions, Wycinanki utilises the most surprising of ordinary, everyday farm tools to create intricate, decorative paper art.

This form of paper art isn't merely cut-out, in fact the paper is folded cleverly and intricately to create designs that are cut by hand using sheep-shears! This unusual tool connects the craft to its folk roots and traditional rural context. Aesthetically the use of sheep shears gives the artwork a more jagged and imperfect finish to that which you would see from contemporary laser-cut or scissor-cut paper art and serves as a mark of authenticity.

Songbird's Wycinanki Art (pronounced 'vih-chee-nahn-kee') is produced by master artisan Irena Kolaczynska in Lowicz who works to preserve the tradition within the region. Lowicz is considered the most famous centre for this form of Wycinanki, where multi-coloured paper is layered using a 'nalepianki' technique. Originally it is thought that the craft began in the Warsaw area using plain white paper, however it became considered more of an art-form towards the late 19th century when coloured paper became more accessible and the designs became more masterful and visually dynamic. The technique has also been used for different applications with the art popularly pasted onto eggshell forms, as well as transformed for use as long decorative garlands and hanging ornaments.

Birds are a popular motif throughout Wycinanki designs, along with other inspirations from nature. Roosters, chickens and peacocks are most commonly depicted, with the rooster considered a symbol wealth, wisdom and fertility in Polish culture, and given as a gift brings good luck to the recipient.