Harriet was born and raised in rural North Carolina, one of eight girls and three boys. All grew to adulthood, except one girl who died as a toddler. Reading and artistic expression were greatly encouraged in the family, resulting in a strong imagination that enabled Harriet to create with hand and mind.
She cuts directly from her imagination, without patterns or sketches—her work greatly influenced by the experiences of her childhood. Her favorite cuttings illustrate scenes familiar to rural America; often presenting the world from a child’s eyes.
Cutting stories from paper has always come easy to Harriet, which is obvious to those who have seen her exhibit. Her husband Lawson was a natural paper cutter as well, and they traveled to arts and crafts shows along the East Coast for more than three decades; demonstrating their unique interpretation of Scherenschnitte to thousands.
The earliest forms of Scherenschnitte in America were produced by Seventh Day Baptist sisters in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Mennonites, Schwenkfelders, and other religious sects used the medium for school rewards, love letters, marriage proposals, and birth certificates. The Pennsylvania Germans are credited with fostering the art -- using it as entertainment for children and decorations in their homes. Harriet follows the traditional method of Scherenschnitte by cutting freehand, using only scissors. Each design is an original. Harriet and Lawson together developed a unique style of presenting the art -- placing the papercuttings between glass to form free-hanging suncatchers and ornaments. Harriet has been cutting original Scherenschnitte for over thirty years -- having developed the unique talent to cut freehand without any tool other than scissors; no drawing or patterns are used. Our miniature style is indicative of the 16th and 17th century cuttings sometimes referred to as "cut lace". Harriet's demonstrations show how this art was done in the Old World.
Culturally, Scherenschnitte has been incorporated into contemporary daily life in the form of doilies, stencils, and fabric designs, and many similar decorative forms. We bring to the shows and fairs these original cuttings framed with solder and/or wood -- some cuttings remain white, while some limited few are watercolored. At arts and crafts shows and fairs, we demonstrate and educate the public by cutting freehand this dying art of Scherenschnitte. We give a demonstration cutting to children who watch us work. As a family, we hope to encourage budding artists and often give art teachers a teaching aid to take with them. On our website, we're presenting a few of our most popular designs that are available for order. We also do special orders--feel free to contact us with details and/or questions. We accept check, VISA or MASTERCARD. For holiday orders, please contact us before November