WAS ONCE A SHEEP HERDER. ~ Chassino, Master of Shadowgraphy, Adept With Hands and Feet.

December 27, 1909

Chassino, Master of Shadowgraphy,
Adept With Hands and Feet.

One of the most delightful parlor amusements for winter evenings is the making of shadows or silhouettes upon screens with the aid of a lamp or candle. Men upon the stage have attained fame and fortune by their expertness in casting shadows. Proficiency, however, comes only through long practice and the application of originality and imagination.

Chassino, a Frenchman, who stands in the front rank of shadowgraphers of the world and who closed a week's engagement at the Orpheum theater last night, says that he was obliged to work ten years before he was able to secure contracts in the theaters. An ordinary sheep herder on the hills and in the valleys of France was Chassino when he first saw a shadowgrapher at a church festival. So infatuated was he with the art that he immediately commenced making shadows for his own amusement.

Gradually becoming adept, he appeared at a village social, but it was ten years later when he found his art remunerative. Now he is able to command fancy salaries and has an act always welcomed in the largest vaudeville houses of both Europe and America.

Chassino not only casts shadows of various kinds of animals and human faces with his hands on the canvas, but he is the only artist known who can shadowgraph with his feet. With the aid of his pedal extremities he is able to make shadows representing clearly and plainly various designs of vases and fancy pottery.

Probably the most remarkable feature of his work in this line is the enacting of a whole scene in which three characters are seen in an interesting comedy sketch, which invariably brings rounds of applause. The scene has every appearance of a motion picture and when it is exposed that Chassino does the whole stunt with just his two hands wonderment in in evidence all over the house.

In an interview Chassino said:

"The novice at making shadows always experiences great difficulty in mastering the simplicities of the art. It is hard to learn how much one can do with just one finger when making silhouettes. The beginner should first learn how to cast the likeness of a rabbit and then a wolf, both of which are easier than most any other kind of animals. To learn how to use the feet in this work is impossible for most folks, because one must have specially designed feet, if I may use such an expression. My feet are lithe and easily convertible into most any shape and hence I am able to use them in my profession to a good advantage. In fact, my feet earn me several hundred dollars a week."