"Silhouettes By Hand" on NPR

Originally published in Dec 2013

Silhouettes By Hand debuted on the radio on Dec 2, 2013, on the National Public Radio station WYPR (Baltimore, MD).

The interview was conducted by Maryland Morning's host Sheilah Kast.  Maryland Morning airs daily on weekdays, featuring issues of importance to the entire state of Maryland audience - from politics to medical to the arts.

The date of the interview airing was developed to coincide with an upcoming appearance at John Hopkins University's Homewood Museum, on Dec 7, 2013.  For this appearance, Lauren cuts silhouette portraits in individual private appointments; the December date creates the opportunity for holiday [portrait] gift-giving, while also providing guided museum tours for silhouette customers. Lauren's appearance in in full ca. 1806 period clothing, adding historical interpretation about the history of silhouettes. 

The Interview

Ms. Kast and Silhouettes By Hand'Lauren Muney attempted to make the visual into the aural. (In other words - how can the radio portray something visual?) Inside the tiny studio recording room, Lauren brought example silhouettes to stimulate the conversation (but obviously not viewable to the radio audience), as well as silhouette-creation supplies to cut Sheilah's portrait [live] on the air. (Photo at right: The tiny recording room, set up for the interview. Lauren's silhouette supplies are set up on the table, with example silhouettes nearby on a chair).

Lauren did cut Sheilah's silhouette during the audio-taping, with the original intent to put the sounds of the scissors on the paper into the interview. However the sounds of the silhouette being cut did not appear in the final interview segment.

Details and thoughts about being interviewed/recorded:

  • Headphones make your own words echo in your head. 
  • Sheilah Kast, the host, is quite genial, smart -- and very prepared. She did research on silhouettes and even on Silhouettes By Hand before the interview. The interview was like talking to a well-informed, very listening friend.
  • The staff of WYPR is extremely hospitable, polite and professional.
  • The original interview was far longer (~90 minutes, including cutting two silhouettes) than the aired interview (~7 mins). 
  • Don't fall in love with anything you say (or do) in a radio interview - it might be cut. Keep repeating this to yourself.
  • Don't miss the opportunity to take more pictures before or after an interview, because you will have more images to post on your website. (Note the lack of images).

Hear the Radio interview online at NPR:

Silhouettes: The Poor Man's Portrait