Pennsylvania Dutch Designs
I have been enjoying creating Scherenschnitte and recreating popular hex signs as a way to reconnect with my Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.
When I was growing up, my mother used to make Scherenschnitte, traditional Pennsylvania Dutch scissors cuttings, and give them as housewarming or wedding gifts. I decided to add a modern twist by working digitally with watercolors.
We would also see Hex Signs, more accurately known as Barn Stars, as we drove through southeastern Pennsylvania. Barn Stars are a form of folk art noted for their symmetry and nature motifs. I became fascinated with their history and started recreating some of the more popular designs sans barn.
This Scherenschnitte features a Mop-tailed Distelfink with a crescent moon. Also known as a Goldfinch, this lunar distelfink is said to bring good luck through the ups and downs of life. The tulips that decorate the design represent faith.
Alternate color scheme of the first Scherenschnitte above.
The doves in this Scherenschnitte represent peaceful friendships and partnerships, the bells within the heart represent a resounding joyful love, and the various tulips represent faith in yourself, faith in what you do, and faith in the world.
This design is based on the classic Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign called the Mighty Oak. The Mighty Oak symbolizes all that the oak tree shares with us throughout the seasons: shade from its leaves, food from its acorns, sturdy wood for building, and beautiful scenery. My version of this design highlights the changing of the seasons and the importance of all stages of life and growth.