Welcome

Welcome to Silhouettes By Hand, the primary offering from Snake Oil Productions* - and from creative specialist, Lauren Muney.

Your Artist's Mission

  • to continue the beautiful legacy of silhouette portraits, a rare historical trade
  • to offer an elegant reminder of any special event or festivity
  • to offer a living experience of our history
  • to break events out of old ideas and offerings by offering a respectful participatory experience

Your Artist's Statement

“My name is Lauren Muney.  I cut silhouettes freehand with scissors, in the traditional portrait style made especially popular 1760-1860's, and extending into the 21st century as well. This historical style of portraiture was very popular before photography was invented.

The only tools: special silhouette paper and scissors.

My only tools are special paper and scissors - I look at my sitter and cut the profile into the paper. I do not draw these portraits before cutting: the scissors do the “drawing”, committing the cuts immediately without possibility of erasure.

No shadows. No software. No cameras. Nothing but the eye, paper, and scissors. People who watch me cut these portraits often remark how much fun it is just to watch. 

Parents are excited and adoring of these silhouettes portraits. They often have silhouettes done by mail-order or at another of my scheduled events. All types of people love having their portraits made, whether at corporate or gala events, or my favorite: museum events.

As the owner of several businesses, I endeavor to treat all my clients and customers professionally and responsibly in our collaboration together."


Your Artist's Background

Lauren cuts a silhouette at a wedding event. See more event types on the Booking page.

Lauren Muney has been a professional artist, entertainer, special-event producer, and consultant for over 30 years. Alongside her graphic illustration degree from a leading arts college, her experience with live events of all types ranges across the United States, Canada, and in Asia and Europe. (See a few images from her past here)

You'll love her vast experience based on her past --and unique offering of interactive presentation at your event.

Classic Silhouettes

Lauren began her interest in cutting silhouettes after studying the entertainments of historical time periods. She fell in love with silhouettes, the art of silhouette cutting, and its place in history. She is self-taught in the freehand-scissoring silhouette skill, based on descriptions from silhouette masters from previous centuries. 

Have Scissors - Will Travel

She is currently located in the Baltimore, Maryland / Washington DC region of the United States, yet she travels to other states, regions, and countries to serve events and museums, and facilities. “Have scissors, will travel”. Read more on the Booking page.

Recent Exciting Highlights

  • In March, 2018, Lauren was filmed by Better Homes and Gardens TV, the #1 rated program in Australia.
  • In March 2018, Lost Trades Fair (Australia) invited Lauren to demonstrate the historic, "lost" trade of silhouette portraiture at its main event in Victoria, the second most visitor attended event in all the entire state.  
  • In March 2016 the international Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums asked Lauren to redesign the image on their logo, using traditional silhouettes to represent its membership. 
  • In Feb 2016 Lauren was profiled in Early American Life magazine. Read the article here
  • In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Lauren was honored with being selected as a Master Traditional Artist from Early American Life, featured in its Directory of Traditional American Crafts.
  • In 2013 Lauren was interviewed by National Public Radio about her silhouettes. 
  • In 2014 Lauren was interviewed for an international documentary film on silhouettes by UK-based, world-renown silhouette master, Charles Burns. "Silhouette Secrets" was released in 2015, winning documentary film awards in 2015-2017 across the globe. The success of "Silhouette Secrets" shows the power and fascination of the intimate art of silhouette portraiture!
  • In 2014 Silhouettes By Hand was nominated for Martha Stewart’s American Made
  • Participation in the industry group Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM):
    • In 2014 Lauren was selected as co-chair for the "Programming, Interpretation, and Education" professional group of ALHFAM
    • In 2018, she was elected as a Board Member of ALHFAM
    • In 2018 she was selected to co-chair the "Skills Training and Preservation" Committee and "Communications" Committee

* "Snake Oil Productions" by Lauren Muney is not affiliated with the video production company of a similar name.

The below photos (and on the Home page) were taken in Malvern/Melbourne, Australia, by photographer Aron Lee, at Miguel Merielles Antiques. (c) Aron Lee, 2018.