I have a large collection of silhouettes hanging on my bedroom wall. Some are hand-cut antiques, others are recent prints, and a few were created by me. Most are classical portraits of 19th-century men and women, but every October I like to switch a few out for something a shade more sinister.
John Fair has given the old-fashioned art of the silhouette a digital upgrade and introduced it to the dark side of the Victorian era with his clever—and cleverly named—Killhouettes. Years ago, knowing of my love for silhouettes and my morbid fascination with Jack the Ripper, my sister gave me “A Rose for Lady Ravencourt” as a birthday gift, because the image reminded her of the infamous serial killer. Instantly smitten, I jumped online and found the full Killhouettes lineup of criminal profiles.
I immediately saw the possibilities for using the pictures as pumpkin-carving patterns. Many of the images can be adapted to smooth over complicated details or account for detached spaces that would be lost in the carving process, but until someone makes even tinier saw blades than Pumpkin Masters, I won’t be attempting the spokes on “Victorian Drive-By” anytime soon. This year, however, I did manage to (somewhat) successfully carve a child-sized weapon from an older design called “No Candy. Your Wallet, Mister!”
In addition to offering 5×7” prints for sale on his website, John Fair is active on the Killhouettes Facebook page, where he regularly posts new designs and special, limited-edition items, such as mini Halloween lanterns, door hangers, postcards, and temporary tattoos.
Halloween is in less than a week, so whether you decide to carve a knife-wielding Isabel into a pumpkin or hang a Jumping Rope with Claudia on your wall, it would be a crime not to get the complete series. At just $6 each, including shipping, these sick silhouettes are a killer deal.
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