The Mountain Times

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Edie Johnstone, the paper cutter

The art of scherenschnitte (German for scissor cuttings) is more unique than most art techniques, perhaps, but it is no less impressive. Edith Johnstone, known by most as "Edie," has been practicing this art for the past 27 years and had her work has been published and displayed extensively.

Johnstone has loved art all her life and has worked in many different media. She also taught elementary school and is an enthusiastic Killington Arts Guild member.

Born in Pennsylvania, Edie, graduated from George School where she took art and Pembroke College, (now Brown University,) which included a year at the Rhode Island School of Design, married Bob Johnstone, had 3 children-now adults- and moved to Vermont in 1967.

She taught art in the Sherburne Elementary School (now Killington Elementary) for all grades, 1970 to 1984. "'You're the best art teacher I ever had' was something the children told me." Edie remembers, "Of course, at that point I was the only art teacher they had had. But I'm sure that I learned as much from the many children as they learned from me."

Since 2006, she has volunteered Friday afternoons in art classes at KES.

In 1985, a German friend sent her some scherenschnitte (scissor cuttings.) "I loved that technique and started doing it using my own designs. Mostly I am self-taught but I took a course at Fletcher Farm," she said. Adding, "I'm a member of the Guild of American Papercutters and get their magazine, FirstCut, so I see a large variety of styles and cuttings. Many of my paper cuttings have been printed in that magazine. All are original designs." For a contest in that magazine she created a cutting "Pets." Almost all the animals in it have been, at one time or another, her pets.

For many years Edie did egg painting, and taught over glaze china painting to adults in her home; she has demonstrated: paper cutting at Art and Antiques on Center (Rutland), in the after school art program at the Sherburne Library and to KAG.

She introduced ATC (Artist's Trading Cards) to the Guild. I still remember the wonderful time we had drawing, cutting and pasting. She brought all the materials needed and was so enthusiastic.

On June 9, Edie will be one of the KAG artists demonstrating at the Vermont Maturity Magazine event at the Grand Hotel. Yes, she will be teaching and doing paper cutting. Mark your calendar!

Her work is at the KAG gallery, Art and Antiques on Center (Rutland), Truly Unique (Rutland) and the Original General Store (Pittsfield).

Tagged: KAG, Killington Arts Guild