Beautiful snip of Swiss mountain life

Beautiful snip of Swiss mountain life

GRANDVAUX, Switzerland - One of the leading traditional crafts in Switzerland is paper cuttings that intricately depict such subjects as plants, trees and landscapes.

Catherine Schmidt, 53, of Grandvaux, a town on the shores of Lake Geneva, is one of the more than 500 paper cutting artists in the nation.

The art form is rooted in life in mountain villages, according to Schmidt, who said she works to preserve tradition while also achieving originality.

For hundreds of years, paper cutting was a form of entertainment, a way to pass long winter evenings at the foot of the Alps. It was elevated to an art by such figures as Johann-Jakob Hauswirth in the 19th century.

With the masterworks of her predecessors as models, Schmidt primarily creates designs of cows at pasture. She also makes specially ordered, family-themed works for such occasions as weddings and births.

Small framed paper cuttings start from about 50 Swiss francs (S$482), while large pieces can sell for more than 3,000 Swiss francs (about ¥380,000).

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