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The art has a long and fascinating history. In eastern Siberia, cutout felt figures and designs were used to decorate objects found in tombs dating from before time of Christ.
The art of elaborate cutting seems to have spread from there to China. In 12th century China, paper cutouts were used to decorate windows, lanterns, gift boxes and other objects. After a while, artisans began applying multiple layers of lacquer to make their work more durable and attractive.
In late 17th century, lacquer furniture from Far East became fashionable in Europe. Demand quickly exceeded supply and Venetian cabinet-makers and lacquerers began to copy and change art form.
At that time, wealthy were in habit of commissioning master painters to paint their furniture. It didn’t take long for découpeurs to draw copies of masterworks and have prints made for their use. In fact, many antiques formerly believed to have been painted by masters were later found to have been copies using very skillful découpage.
To learn more about découpage and how to use this technique yourself, visit: http://www.theartfulcrafter.com/decoupage-two.html.
Eileen Bergen The Artful Crafter http://theartfulcrafter.com
Ms. Bergen has had a varied career, first as a special education teacher and than, after getting a MBA degree, as a vice president of a major insurance company. For the last eight years she has been creating and selling her crafts.