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Building Skills and Nurturing Creativity

Polish Cut Paper Designs: Gwiazdy


Art Start November 2012

Art Start students learned how to make gwiazdy (gvee-ahz-di), a traditional Polish art form. For centuries, Polish farmers welcomed spring by hanging these colorful cut paper designs on freshly whitewashed walls. The design themes were inspired by farm life: roosters, animals, plants, etc. Art Start students cut paper circles, then folded them in half three times. They drew nature-themed designs on the folded wedge of paper and colored in the part to be cut away. (see rooster design on left) After carefully cutting, the paper is opened and a design is revealed.  The original drawing becomes transformed into a beautiful, complex gwiazda (which means "star" in Polish).