14 May

When Work Goes Awry

The saying goes, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”. But what should an artist do when a piece of art with hours of work already invested into it starts turning to lemons?

I don’t often find myself in this type of situation because I am a process-driven artist and I don’t have a specific result in mind from the start. I am interested to see how something will evolve as I work. But once in awhile things still go awry.

Paper Cut Vessel

Paper Cut Vessel - Cylinder

The two cut paper vessels that I’m sharing in this blog post began life as a single piece of 19″ x 25″ black paper. My intention was to make a large rectangular structure I could hang from the wall. The more I worked on it, the less I liked it. I realized I was happy with the paper cutting but the structure was too boring. It also reminded me too much of a decorative designery thing for candles that someone would buy from Crate & Barrel.

Paper Cut Vessel - Cylinder

Paper Cut Vessel - detail

I decided to salvage the situation by cutting the paper in half with the idea I would create smaller individual structures from each piece. I couldn’t leave it as one piece because I’d already scored the paper for folding into a rectangle.

Paper Cut Vessel - detail

I’d left an uncut edge along one side of each piece so I could attach a piece of paper and create a bottom to the structure. The first strip of cut paper became a wide cylindrical shape. It’s about eight inches in diameter and nine inches at the tallest point.

Paper Cut Vessel - Three Curves

Paper Cut Vessel - Three Curves

With the second strip of cut paper I decided to aim for an irregular structure. I had the piece of paper curve around three circles as the bases and wound up with what you see here. It was an experiment, and the end result is a bit wonky but interesting.

Paper Cut Vessel - Three Curves

Paper Cut Vessel - Three Curves

As a side note, the paper I used for these was a bit lighter than I normally work with and I think it may be a bit too delicate for creating more structural pieces. Working with black was also a nice change from all the white I’ve been doing lately.

Paper Cut Vessel - Three Curves

Thank goodness this piece was flexible enough to salvage and transform into something else. I think what I’ve ended up with has turned out to be much more interesting than my original idea.

© Rachael Ashe