Alumni News

A Thousand Paper Cuts

Her daughter playing in the background, Cindy Bean sits at a desk with one of her paper-cut creations.
With her preferred paper-cutting tool, the razor blade, Cindy Bean has been making intricate creations for more than a decade. Ever versatile, the mother of three has even earned a seat at Comic-Con, where she wows with her Star Wars–themed cuttings. Photo by Bradley Slade.

When Cynthia Ferguson Bean (BA ’99) was in fifth grade, she won her first art competition with a drawing of a caroling moose for a Christmas card. Her artistic passion followed her to BYU, where Bean received a degree in graphic design. But it wasn’t until 2006, when Bean was visiting her grandparents in Germany, that she discovered scherenschnitte, the art of paper cutting. Drawn to the simple beauty and intricacy of the pieces, she had to try it herself.

Since then, she has snipped and sliced works ranging in theme from pastoral to spiritual, from spooky to sci-fi. Bean says a favorite project took her to the Tower of London, where she spent a month creating eight large paper cuttings for the children’s education room at the tower. She’s also keeping the tradition of scherenschnitte alive online, providing tutorials and templates for beginning paper cutters. Learn more at

See some of Bean’s pieces as well as video of her work below.

A paper cut art piece depicting mandala based on the video game Joust.
Joust Mandala by Cindy Bean
A papercut art piece depicting a rabbit and squirrel
Unconditional by Cindy Bean
A paper-cut art piece depicting a scene from Jabberwocky
Jabberwocky by Cindy Bean

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