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Cut Paper Lecture / Demonstrations/Workshops

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Lectures, Demonstrations & Workshops


by Kathleen Trenchard

Book your program today for
Day of the Dead, and Holiday season!

Students will enjoy a demonstration of authentic papel picado (punched paper) techniques and materials. They will learn how this unique folk art is used for celebrations in Mexico, and the history of its evolution from European, Asian and pre-Columbian art forms. 

Itís a great way to make colorful, inexpensive and fun decorations, 
while learning about Mexican culture and history.
Its perfect for ESL, Spanish, and art classes.

Your presentation can be customized for a particular theme, celebration or event, for students, instructors, and families. 

Hand outs and some materials are provided by the instructor.

Cost estimates for papel picado workshops/lecture/demos:

  • $100 per hour (minimum 5 hours or $500 for venues outside of San Antonio + travel expenses)

  • $300 for Ĺ day 

  • $600-800 for full day

The presenter enjoys traveling. Please book well in advance 
of desired event, in order to assure economic 
travel arrangements and expenses to and from San Antonio. 

Contact Kathleen at, or
call 210-225-6608. P.O. Box 120232, S.A. TX 78212

This is a family activity highlighting a colorful tradition unique to Mexico and the Southwest. The programs outlined below can be combined and tailored to the needs of classroom/library, convention, festival and craft exhibit organizers.

Day of the Dead workshop at the San Antonio Museum of Art Family Day

Calavera Mask

Calvera Necklace

Artist / Educator / Author, Kathleen Trenchard

Papel picado (Mexican cut paper banners)

Any of the three formats below can be combined to suit the interests of the audience. For example, a one-hour program could be divided into a half hour each of demonstration and a workshop (½ hour each).

ESL teacher workshop 
showing her table runner

Slide lecture (½ -1 hour)
Presentation of the rich, historical and cultural tradition of this intriguing art form. Traditional art works are used to illustrate the use of cut paper art for the Mexican celebrations of Day of the Dead, Christmas and Independence day.

Demonstration (15 minutes-1/2 hour)
The traditional Mexican
techniques of punching paper, mylar or plastic into intricate works of
art using only a hammer and chisels.

Workshop: (½ - 1 hour)
Step-by-step hands-on workshop demonstrating easy techniques for fabricating traditional papel picado using scissors, a pattern, paper, glue stick, paper clips, and string. An original pattern is provided for each workshop participant. Choose a pattern from the CUT-it-OUT kit catalogue or ask for a custom design.

Participants will feel a sense of accomplishment and completion in handling the materials and taking their art work with them to share with others. They also learn a useful, artistic skill. Participants should
be limited to no more than 50 adults and 20 children per presentation.

Souvenir kits can be tailored for your event to include the materials listed above, which are needed for a workshop. These useful items are attractively packaged in a clear, plastic, zip
lock bag. This enables each participant to enclose their completed banners in the same bag, for easy storage, protection and transport. Your program agenda and other items can also be placed in the bag in advance of your event. Workshop participants will be delighted with their free personal folk art souvenir.

Satisfied Clients include:

Cambridge Elementary: Artist of the Year demonstration and auction of work, 2005
Friends of Dard Hunter Paper making conference, Southwest School of Arts and Craft, 2004
Marriott Hotel on the S.A. Riverwalk, 2003
"Broken Wings" CTSA-TV, Channel 15, 2002
"Texas Country Reporter", KENS-TV, Channel 5, 2002
JT Brackenridge School, S.A. 2002
Pleasanton High School, TX 2002
Dripping Springs Middle School, TX, 2001
Taft High School, TX 2001
Guild of American Paper cutters Conference in Estes Park, Colorado, 2000
University of Texas in San Antonio, Architecture Department, 2000
Booksmith Bookstore, S.A.,1999
Old Blanco Courthouse, 1999
Witte Museum of Art, 1997, '98, '99
Austin Friends of Folk Art, 1998
Tucson Museum of Art, 1998
Borders Books, San Antonio, 1998
Kate's Paperie, NYC, 1998
Barnes & Noble Books: San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, 1998
San Antonio Museum of Art, 1988, 1991, 1998, 2001
McNay Art Institute, 1996
San Antonio Childrens' Museum, 1995
St. Mary's Hall, 1995
TIE-IN National TV Service, 1992, 1993.
NEISD Teacher In-Service, 1992.
San Antonio College, Visual Arts Lecture Series, 1991.
Fiesta Texas, 1991.
St. Luke Episcopal School, 1991.
Alexandria Museum of Art, 1990.
S.A. Public Library, 1990.
S.A. Botanical Center, 1990.
Laredo State University, 1989.
Tulane University, 1988.
Austin Children's Museum, 1988.
TAEA Conventions, Corpus Christi, Texas, 1986; San Antonio 1985.

workshop at the Northwest library 2008

papel picado demo at Galena Pk ISD in Houston

Shadow Puppet Workshops
Shadow Puppet Workshops

Comments from Workshop Attendants:

Sienna Martinez:  “Excellent”

Dalila Gonzales:
“Enjoyed it!”




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All images © Kathleen Trenchard, Cut-it-Out. All rights reserved.