This installment of Interview with the Artist features a very special lady, whose beautiful paper snowflakes have brought joy to countless people . . . and I am one of them!
I “met” Elsie a couple of months ago when she began to comment on the blog. She won the weekly giveaway and afterwards sent me an envelope that contained the most gorgeous paper snowflakes I’d ever seen!
I was simply fascinated by their intricacy, and also very touched that she would surprise me with such a delightful gift! After learning a little more about Elsie, I discovered that she does this all the time.
She very graciously granted me this interview. I know you’ll enjoy it . . . and as Elsie says: “Let it Snow!” 🙂
Were you interested in art as a child?
I loved art and my kind parents always encouraged me. I would cut big square snowflakes and spent lots of time practicing. I also enjoyed drawing, paper arts, painting, and clay/pottery. I became an elementary art teacher and worked until my son was born. He’s 21 now.
Does it take a long time to develop a talent for making them so beautifully?
I learned to cut a wide variety of paper snowflakes as I was teaching my students to cut the 6-sided, more realistic-looking, type of snowflake. We decorated the whole school with them!
Do you need special scissors to create the snowflakes?
I use regular scissors, five inches long, sharp and pointed.
Who are the lucky recipients (besides me!) of these exquisite little pieces of art?
I have given away hundreds of my paper snowflakes to friends (mailed in Christmas cards), neighbors, nursing home residents, hospital patients, hospice staff, also to shelters, schools, and offices.
Can you estimate how many snowflakes you have made over the years?
One year I cut over 2000 of them. Lately I lose count.
Of course white paper is probably best because it makes the most life-like snowflakes, but have you ever experimented with different colors or types of paper?
I still experiment and use pastel colors of blue and pink for hospital maternity floors, or I try to include shapes of angels, trees, or even names in the snowflake designs as a treat for children to find – it’s so fun and I am constantly inspired!
Do you also make paper dolls or other paper art?
My other art interests include origami paper folding, woven paper hearts, personalized paper pumpkins, and window valentines. Paper crafts are inexpensive and portable to work on, and fun to share!
Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself? 🙂
I haven’t saved any snowflakes for myself . . .
I make the snowflakes to be small gifts of appreciation from me, or to send my good wishes during the Holiday Season. The kind notes and letters of thanks I’ve gotten are delightful and bring me joy, and I’ve saved them all. I once received a personal Christmas card, in return, from U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and some of my little snowflakes were on display at the Cleveland Museum of Art, on the office windows of the Education Department! This blog interview invitation from Crystal is thrilling for a Mom from Ohio! Thanks Crystal!
Wishing all a Happy New Year and Let it snow!
If you’d like to contact Elsie about her snowflakes, please leave a comment on this post with your request, and I’ll be glad to forward her email address!