Sunday, February 24, 2008

History of Decoupage

What is Decoupage?
Decoupage is the art of decorating surfaces with paper cut-outs. Decoupage comes from the French word "decouper" which means to "to cut out" There are two types of Decoupage, flat which is when paper motifs are cut out which are then glued flat onto a surface and heavily varnished so that the edges blend in with the background as if the design as painted on. The second method "3D decoupage" is an alternative method which gives a feel of depth and volume. This makes the design to look life like, which a flat design is unable to achieve

some believe that it originated in Europe dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which became popular in the seventeenth century Venice and then spread throughout Europe. Masters painters were employed to hand paint furniture, but this became so expensive that painters, engravings were bought instead and hand coloured, the pictures cout out and then glued to plain furniture and varnished to look as though the furniture had been painted. This process was called poor man's art and flowed through to others parts of Europe and the U.K. It was particularly enjoyed by ladies of the French court and was named Decoupage, this being a derivative of the French word découper meaning "to cut".

My interest in decoupage emerged in 1994. I was fascinated by this art and from then I became very observant of all decoupaged furniture I could find at art galleries, craft exhibitions, markets, etc. Eventually I picked up the scissors as an avenue to express my creative self.

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