Kim Frey grew up in a family of antique dealers and history lovers, and has been crafting since she was a child. In 1989, while visiting a traditional folk craft exhibit, the early American paper arts caught her eye… intricate scherenschnitte, brightly colored fraktur, and traditional silhouettes… and Kim instantly knew where she was heading with her artwork! Her husband, Chris, was also inspired by the beautiful faux-grained frames that held the artwork, and he headed home to master mitered corners. The rest is history… and the kitchen table has been covered with paper snippings and frames ever since! Since 1990, the Freys’ artwork has been shown at local Art Leagues, in traveling exhibits with the Guild of American Papercutters, in special exhibits with Delaware State Museums, and in museum and gift shops across the country. They have also been privileged to be chosen for Early American Life Magazine’s Directory of Traditional Crafts and Holiday Directory since 2008
A little information about traditional paper arts…
Scherenschnitte is a Pennsylvania German style of papercutting, and literally means “scissors snipping.” Scherenschnitte was used to create Valentines, Christmas tree ornaments, cake stencils, artwork for the home, and shelf decorations.
Fraktur refers to the Pennsylvania German artistic form of producing important documents such as birth, baptismal, and wedding records. Fraktur were also given as rewards of merit for good students, house blessings, and bookplates.
Silhouettes, sometimes called “shades” or “shadows,” were the common man’s portrait before modern photography was invented. Silhouettes were created by well known artists such as Charles Wilson Peale and August Edouart, as well as many anonymous traveling artists. Silhouettes were also created by young women as a parlor craft, such as the well-known profiles of George and Martha Washington, cut by Nellie Custis.
The Freys live in Delaware with Oreo the Jellicle Cat and a whole bunch of chickens. They’re trying to adapt to living in an empty nest. Both of their girls are married now… The oldest lives in California, is raising two sweet boys, and loves photography and designing pretty websites. The youngest lives in Delaware and specializes in hand lettered typographical art.
The Freys’ artwork can be seen at Hudson’s General Store, in Clarksville, Delaware.