Karen “Bit” Vejle‘s is a tale about not just the fulfillment of her own passion, but one to inspire us too in overcoming adversity through creativity and quiet determination. Vejle found solace and therapy in what has become her work; however, she insists it’s not raw talent which makes her special. We love the idea that making and its benefits are accessible to all, requiring only time and the desire to try.
According to historians, the art of papercutting, or psaligraphy, dates back as far as the fourth century AD. Nowadays, paperchains, paper snowflakes and other types of paper-art are common crafts in many cultures. In Denmark, theirs is an Easter greetings tradition called gækkebrev. They cut a design into folded paper containing a poem, and the recipient has three guesses as to the sender’s identity. An egg or a kiss is the sweet forfeit.
Vejle has always loved the tradition, despite her detailed and beautiful work forever giving away her identity. She describes her lifetime with this hobby in her TEDxArendal talk: Papercut poetry. The practice took on a new life for Vejle when she saw a contemporary psaligraphist in her teens. From that moment she was spellbound. After watching him intently for some time, Vejle took up her scissors and has made papercut art every day since.