In Brioude (Haute-Loire), a workshop to sculpt paper actors for the shadow theater

For its second summer to animate the school holidays, the meeting of Young people and Games proposed by the city of Brioude, every Tuesday, does not struggle to find its audience. New actress of these activities spread over the city center, Sarah Barthélémy, whose Atelier du papier is located rue Sébastopol, offers for the last time this Tuesday, August 2, two-hour mini-trainings, changing from one week to the other.

In Brioude (Haute-Loire), “Young people and games” promises variety and discovery to liven up Tuesdays in the summer

The first session focused on creating paper pop-ups. “Or more specifically its simplest version, with the 90° parallel fold,” explains the artist. The second was devoted to stamp creation, by manipulating dowels. Tuesday, July 26, four young participants leaned, at his side and seriously following his wise advice, on the shadow theater. And more particularly on the paper puppets that can animate it.

Discover shadow theater

It all started with a short video raising awareness of the ancestral art of shadow theater, as it was born and has evolved over time and across countries, with an update on the origin of paper cut-outs. The workshop then returned to the hard with the making by the participants of paper puppets. An art not so simple as it seems. The first step was to choose a pattern from animal drawings printed by Sarah Barthélémy. “Images that work pretty much. It is also interesting to modify some of them so that it can work in shadow theater. »

The young trainees used a light table to trace the shapes onto a sheet of paper, in order to then identify, with a colored marker, the interior areas of the models to be cut out. The important thing is that once entirely sculpted in the paper, the whole thing can hold together.

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Workshop. See you this Tuesday, August 2 at 2 p.m. to learn how to make ink pads. Register at The workshop is located at 20 rue Sébastopol.

Learn to cut with a utility knife

The outer and inner contours thus identified were again traced onto a thicker sheet of paper, before proceeding to cutting. Part of this workshop was logically centered on learning how to use the cutter, “to handle on the cutting board”. Sarah Barthélémy gave a series of basic tips to give birth to models in complete safety:

  • Always cut from top to bottom, towards you;
  • Never put your hand in the path of the blade;
  • The cutter is not held like a pen and should be as parallel to the paper as possible;
  • The sheet must turn over the cut to allow it to always go from top to bottom.
  • Finally, the tool must be put down each time the cut is stopped: “You don’t get up or turn around with the cutter in your hand. »

Once these valuable tips had been assimilated, the participants set about carefully cutting out the shapes of the future puppets to be attached to a wooden stick. This Tuesday, for her fourth and last meeting offered as part of Young people and games, Sarah Barthélémy will again offer to make ink pads.

Young people and games continues until the end of August, on Tuesdays, with:
Games and escape games. Place Lafayette, from 3 to 6 p.m. Free activities. The escape game requires registration with the city’s entertainment department (, or
Construction of cabins. Esplanade de Verdun, from 2 p.m. until August 9 inclusive.
Paint like Picasso. Former Jean-Pradier school, until August 23 inclusive, from 2 to 5 p.m. Register with the city’s entertainment department.
The art of lace. Hôtel de la Dentelle, at 2 p.m. Registration on and price of 5 €.
Coarse fishing. Salmon House, at 1:45 p.m., August 2, 9 and 30. The activity is €5 (+ fishing card price, free for children under 12). Register in advance at

Pierre Hebrard


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