Tag Archives: Craft

Sharing Bygone Art and Craft Skills

This ‘silver paper picture’ created by my mother Joyce (Bake) George (1924-1999), Portchester, Hampshire, England. It hung in my brother’s bedroom from the early 1960s.

When browsing through some family photographs, I spotted more than one picture that had been created by my mother.

Silver Paper Pictures

An art form all of its own.  My mother produced wonderful pictures to sell at the school fundraising bazaar or Christmas Fair. By the mid-1960s it was a family affair, my brother, sister and I joined in the activities.

How is was done?

In our household all coloured ‘silver paper’ sweet (candy) wrappers we collected and smoothed flat. Quality Street offered, green, purple, silver, gold and more. On the farm boy’s shirt you can see the textured pattern from a strawberry sweet. Easter eggs, provided particularly large pieces of coloured silver foil papers.

On a piece of glass, usually the size of windowpane from our lead-light windows, a simple outline image was drawn or traced from a from a children’s book. This was done with a dip pen and black Indian ink.

When it was dry, the background was painted with black oil-based craft paint.  Working from the back, the image would be reversed when complete.  Within each section foil pieces were glued in place using a strong clear craft glue. Then the edges were carefully sculptured and folded back to be contained in the section. As each layer was filled, the final piece could be placed over the whole image.

The back was covered with card. Brass hanging rings pushed through the card and pre-gummed Paspatoo tape was folded to give an even finish from the front, then dampened and used to secure the edges.

My pictures usually featured ballet dancers, animals, or clowns.

Follow this blog to see more skills from the past!