Paper cut-outs: discovering a unique heritage of the Pays-d'Enhaut

Mountain pastures, goats, cows, finely chiselled hearts of mountain flowers: these traditional decorations and settings often adorn these unique creations. Today, we're taking you to Château-d'Œx to discover this art form in an introductory paper-cutting workshop. After admiring the works of the masters at the Musée du Pays-d'Enhaut, it's time for a hands-on workshop. On the programme: choosing motifs, drawing, learning how to use scissors, and... cutting of course!

✎︎ Alpes Vaudoises, ©︎ Alpes Vaudoises, ※︎ March 2024

What we liked ❤️‍🔥

  • It's the perfect activity to do with friends and children 👩🏻‍👨🏻‍👦🏻‍👦🏻

  • Learning about this traditional art form from Elisabeth, a professional cutter ✂️

  • Unfolding our cut-out and discovering the final result ✌🏻

  • Immerse yourself in life in the Pays-d'Enhaut during a visit to the Museum 🖼️

Musée du Pays-d'Enhaut et Centre Suisse du Papier Découpé

On a beautiful morning in March, we set off for the Pays-d'Enhaut, and more specifically Château-d'Œx, for a day dedicated to heritage and tradition. First stop: the lovely museum in the centre of the village. Enlarged in 2022, the museum is now home to the Centre Suisse du Papier Découpé (Swiss Cut-Paper Centre), with a rotating exhibition of nearly 600 works.

The entrance to the Musée du Pays-d'Enhaut and the Centre Suisse du Papier Découpé ©️Alpes Vaudoises

As we wander through the floors of this magnificent chalet, we admire traditional Pays-d'Enhaut furniture, tools, crockery and magnificent works of cut paper. Visitors are immersed in the valley's bygone days, and move from room to room according to different themes: women's work, childhood and social life, arts and crafts...

An old-fashioned bedroom ©️Alpes Vaudoises

Introductory paper-cut workshop

At the end of our visit, we headed to the Château-d'Œx Tourist Office for our workshop. Elisabeth, who specialises in making vegetable paper and paper-cutting, welcomed us for an afternoon of meticulous creation! After a short introduction to the history of paper-cutting and the first paper-cutters in the Pays-d'Enhaut region, it was time for us to play.

The cutting machine ©️Alpes Vaudoises

Patience and delicacy

We choose our style of drawing, according to the mood of the moment. Elisabeth advises us and explains how to create a harmonious whole on half a sheet of paper folded in half. Once the drawing is done, we learn how to cut out the paper, using fine scissors with sharp points. These can be used to cut out all sorts of shapes, even extremely small ones.

The pre-cutting preparatory drawing ©️Alpes Vaudoises

The beauty of unfolding

During the three hours of the workshop (which we don't get to see), the focus is on concentration! We quickly immersed ourselves in the cutting and the rustle of the chisel as it delicately cut the paper. The key moment of the workshop? The unfolding of the cut-out, which then reveals the complete work.

The surprise when you unfold the paper ©️Alpes Vaudoises

We're delighted with the result, especially as we're not usually keen DIYers! After sticking our cut-out onto a sheet of white paper, it was ready to be framed. We then headed back to Aigle, proud as children bringing home their first work of art.

A delicate hot-air balloon and a mountain chalet as my first works! ©️Alpes Vaudoises

Practical Infos

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