Silhouettes by Cassie brings new art form to town

Silhouettes — shapes of a person or animals cut from paper, usually black — were a popular art form in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries.

They were faster and cheaper than portraits.

But photography eventually saw them decline in popularity.

Online sources estimate there are fewer than 40 silhouette artists in the world today.

Add Cassie Yeckering of Owensboro to that tiny list.

She launched Silhouettes by Cassie about a month ago.

And Yeckering’s already had about a dozen customers.

“I do silhouette portraits of children, dogs and cats,” Yeckering said. “I’ve always liked them, but online they’re very expensive.”

She said, “I do their hair, if they have a cowlick or a certain haircut. People can send me a picture or I can take a picture myself.”

Yeckering said, “It took me about a week to learn. I had to find the perfect app.”

Her full-time job is being a mom, she said.

But silhouettes are something she can do in her spare time.

“I’d love to go to Friday After Five and other events to do this,” Yeckering said. “That would be so much fun.”

She said, “I took art classes in school, but I just learned this on my own.”

Photographs may be a lot easier.

But Yeckering said, “I just love the timelessness of it. It’s something special.”

It takes from one to three days to complete a silhouette, she said.

“I do 4 x 6s or 5 x 7s,” Yeckering said.

People can contact her on her Facebook page.

“It’s stress relieving,” she said. “I don’t think anybody else in town is doing this.”

Historians say the name of the art form comes from the 18th century French finance minister Etienne de Silhouette.

He wasn’t an artist.

Apparently, his name was attached because of his penny pinching ways.

And since the shapes were affordable for most people, they became silhouettes.