December 10th, 2012
Earlier in the fall I was invited to be part of an upcoming group show in Victoria that explores the theme of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass. I hadn’t had any time until last week to figure out and create something new for this show because I don’t currently have anything appropriate. I was stumped and uninspired at first because the theme doesn’t really fit into my current body of work, and I’m reluctant to create one-off pieces just to satisfy the requirements of a group show.
I was actually really close to passing up on this opportunity. But I surprised myself and found my way through to creating work I am very pleased with. The White Rabbit was my inspiration and he took me down a rabbit hole of layers and layers of circles.
“Down the Rabbit Hole” | 10″ x 10″
Both of these are 10″ x 10″ with the cut paper mounted inside a wood cradle panel. There are three layers of paper in each one, and I used a compass cutter to cut the circles. I’d been playing around with this idea in my head because I have a circle cut pile of maps left over from a previous project, and I intend to do something with them. The layers work very well and build on my recent work of a single repeating shape.
To create the two rabbit silhouettes I sourced images of the white rabbit from google images, printed these out to the correct size and used them as a template. I left the details of each of them very minimal on purpose.
“Down the Rabbit Hole” | 10″ x 10″
I showed photos of these on Instagram as I worked on them last week and was thrilled to have such a positive reaction to the work. I’ll share more details about the show closer to the date next year.
September 25th, 2012
One of the presents I received for my birthday earlier this year was a lovely white tea cup given to me by Anne. It came in a small wooden box with a hinged lid, and I was attracted to this as much as to the gift it held inside. I knew right away I wanted to use it somehow in my art.
My initial idea was to create a small abstract universe from cut paper inside this box, but as I began working it out I couldn’t manage to achieve what I’d been envisioning in my head. And so it evolved into what you see pictured here.
Front and top view.
Back and side view.
The box is decorated with some of the cut paper pieces I’d originally created to intertwine inside the box but instead became striking details for the outside. There are two 4.25″ square paper cuts layered a few inches apart in the interior, with the sides painted white to help them stand out. I gave the exterior of the box a light wood stain because I felt the whole thing should have minimal colour.
I shared a work-in-progress photo of this on my Facebook page last week and was intrigued by the various ways people chose to interpret it. Rather than explain my ideas behind this (because it’s intended to fit a certain theme), I’d love to hear your thoughts about the work. I find it fascinating to learn what other people see.
September 17th, 2012
I am very happy to finally get the chance to reveal this beautiful paper cut design I was commissioned to create at the end of the summer.
As you can clearly read in the hand cut letters within the composition, this was a custom piece created for Kim Werker. She was in the process of redesigning her website and wanted something unique and handmade to use as the new header. Kim is a writer, editor, creative thinker, and crafter and felt a paper cut piece would be the perfect thing to incorporate into the new site design.
We discussed a few ideas but Kim’s only requirements were for something with minimal colour, and for book pages to somehow be the background of the piece.
My first step was to choose a font to work with, one that wasn’t too intricate or delicate to cut out by hand, and would read well within the busy design. We both agreed on Hoefler, so I created the text in photoshop and printed it out to use as a template to guide my cutting. I do this by placing the printed text on top of the black card stock and carefully cutting through both.
With the text completed I moved onto the rest of the design, all of which I created through freehand cutting. I did a bit of practice work both in my sketchbook and on a separate piece of black card stock before I worked on the final piece. I wanted to work with different shapes rather than a single repeating shape as usual, and needed to get a feel for it first. I cut for hours and came away with a very delicate intricate finished design.
For the background paper I cut down scraps of book pages left over from an altered book project and collaged these together. I wanted the text to flow in all directions and become a detail rather than a feature. The final step was to bring the paper cut and the collage together, and remove the extra card stock.
I am very pleased with how beautifully this paper cut design came together, and it looks absolutely stunning as the header on Kim’s new website.