West coast papercutting artist Britta Kling practices the art of Scherenschnitt of her native Germany. She was introduced to scissor-cutting while attending high school in Stuttgart, and continued her art education by studying famous cuttings in German museums.
Immigrating to the U.S., she pursued her art in Boston. Her first exhibition was held at the Nagbie Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1957. Not until the late 1960s, after raising her family, did she resume her career as artist and illustrator. Her work was featured in galleries in Colorado, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and in California, where she and her family lived since 1974.
Although she continued to produce traditional Scherenschnitte, her work evolved to include highly personal designs drawn from nature. “I get my inspiration from shrubs, birds, butterflies, and trees. When camping, I draw a flower to bring home to cut at my leisure.” She has also become expert at cutting designs that incorporate man-made images of the 19th century.
Her materials were those of a Scherenschnitte artist: black surfaced silhouette paper and long handled scissors. “I have had my scissors over 30 years. I have a scissor-man in Germany who tightens and sharpens them for me whenever I visit, and that suffices until the next time.” Mrs. Kling pursued her interests in music, teaching, and embroidery. She published her own line of greeting cards, and her work was featured at the cooperative Offtrack Gallery in Encinitas, California.