Monday, 9 September 2013

Polish Folk Art

Ever since I was a small child, I have loved the art work of Jan Pienkowski, whose beautifully detailed silhouette-style illustrations decorated one of the books on my shelf.  Sadly I no longer have the book, but later found his work in the picture book "Christmas", which we do own and treasure.  He also illustrated the well-known 'Meg and Mog' series.
So when I recently came across some silhouette-style polish folk art called Wycinanki (apparently pronounced vee-chee-non-key), it was like seeing something new yet familiar at the same time. Unsurprisingly, I love it. Many of the examples are intricately detailed and crafted, but I knew there must be a way to simplify it make it accessible for the children - they've been doing quite a bit of painting lately and were ready for a different kind of art.  Then I found this link, and it gave me all the inspiration we needed to get going...

I showed the boys lots of examples, and we talked about common themes that we saw, such as nature ( trees, birds and animals) and symmetry.
We folded the black paper in half, and drew the design on the half-page in pencil (it does show up on black paper just enough).

Once they were happy with their designs, we cut the designs out (I did Youngest's for him as it was very fiddly... Middle only needed a little help round the tricky bits)...

Then they glued their designs on to a white card background (pencil side down)...

Finally they used coloured paper to cut out shapes to stick on to the designs (Youngest had run out of interest at this point, but much Wycinanki is single-colour only, so we decided it was authentic, and called it finished).

So here they are: the boys finished designs (I didn't do one today as I was needed in helping the boys)...

"Peacocks" by Eldest

"Pigs giving a Present" by Middle

"Night Tree" by Youngest
(with hedgehogs on ground, and owls & ninja people (!) in tree... plus man-in-the-moon falling off the moon!)


  1. Wow, those are brilliant!
    (PS. I loved the Meg & Mog books as a child too!)
    R xx

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  3. Polish folk arts is beautiful,charming and sign off freshness.Little kids enjoy it joyfully and feel joyfull and happiness.I also like it to.Polish folk arts