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Past Times' Pastimes

découpage /ˌdeɪkuːˈpɑːʒ,dɪˈkuːpɑːʒ/


1. the art or craft of decorating objects with paper cut-outs.

A later work: Professor Thrupiece and Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore - A Preliminary Study.

Curiosity” Mrs Amanda J Threadbone has often said “is the hallmark of an inquiring mind ready and willing to explore life’s pleasures”, and if ever a woman embodied that curiosity it is surely Mrs Threadbone herself. Well into her ninth decade her interest in life's pleasures and many other things [even closer to home] shows no sign of diminishing. Indeed under the careful tutelage and constant encouragement of amanuensis, helpmeet, former companion to the late Mr Threadbone and fellow horizontal-jogging enthusiast Senior Enrique de los Chicos Perdidos, it seems that, whilst Mrs Threadbone is always ripe for adventures new, she is more than willing to revisit her interest in older passions - including one particular enthusiasm she has continued to enjoy for more than 70 years.

In today’s exclusive interview, she tells of her abiding fondness for one of the greatest pleasures of her early years - first fashioned at a time when she was discovering herself and - as she freely admits - "experimenting a little as girls of that age are won't to do".

I was” she remarks” “a solitary child much given to drawing upon my own resources and entertaining myself whenever boredom threatened”. My mother was a great believer in the saying that "Idle hands turn to the devil"s work!" So, I was constantly impelled to keep my fingers busy".

Arriving at Boarding School in the 1950s she was keen to share her experiences, and would frequently ask sympathetic dormitary friends to "let her see theirs". “In exchange I was always happy to show them mine. I was, even if I say so myself, a quick study and I soon learned how to hone my technique and develop a more nuanced approach to touch. I knew, almost instinctively, when it was better to use a sliding motion, when a few quick pats and when a more sustained and even pressure was required. By the age of 15 I was renowned for my ability to know how and when to reach a satisfactory ending and was often complemented on the speed and finesse with which I pulled it off for others.

We are speaking on the eve of a major new exhibition in the Long Bredy Literary and Philosophical Society's Celia Notso-Pointy Gallery: "Mrs Threadbone and the Courtly Art of Decoupage". Curated by Mrs Threadbone's great niece Andromache Poynts-North, the exhibition charts a lifetime's obsession with scissors, paper, glue and string. As the handwritten note appended to Exhibit 36 [Man on Horse with Snake in the Garden of Innocence] reads, "So much innocent fun and such a startlingly unexpected result".

One of the unexpected stars of the show: Exhibit 36 [Man on Horse with Snake in the Garden of Innocence] is notable for its extraordinary realism.

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