Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cut it out!

The last few months I have been really drawn to paper cutting and am quite amazed by the creations I see other people making. Remember Rosie Ferrier's paper cut octopus book from the Glasgow School of Art degree show? Sigh... I haven't really done any paper cutting and the tutorials I have read (e.g. this one by the fabby Elsa Mora) say it is easy/relaxing but make me think I would find it... more than challenging!

I dipped my toe (and I mean the tiniest tip of my tiniest toe) into the paper cutting water a few week's ago when I started my Little Red Riding Hood project. Now that I've completed the next stage, I realise I have to remake the trees using different paper as the colour is bleeding out of the one I've used. I wonder, given all the paper cutting inspiration out there, could I make it better? Would my lack of paper cutting skill hold me back? I'll let you know how it goes, but in the mean time here are some paper cuts that have delighted me recently. I've pinched these photos from people's flickr accounts but if you click on the links it should take you back to their photostream so you can find out more if you want to.

The flowers above and the cowboy below are two very different looking paper cuts by the same person: Heather Moore a.k.a. Skinny la Minx. Looking at these makes me think that maybe what I like about paper cuts is the way they look bold/strong but fragile at the same time.

Elsa Mora (who I mentioned above) is, I'm sure she wouldn't be offended by this, frankly obsessed with paper cutting but her obsession has led to pretty amazing results like this Little Red Riding Hood paper cut.
I've only just come across this one (again by Elsa Mora) but I think this is probably what I had in mind when I set out to cut my trees, believe it or not!
I wonder if this is as tiny as I imagine? I don't think it could be. Surely not! I definitely need to practice my own cutting either way... I think this is so adorable.

Here's a completely different style of paper cutting from Ani Castillo. I usually like art that plays with or adds to photos (not that I can think of any other specific examples right now!) but I think this one is particularly fantastic.
I love the way the creature is strange and looming but not threatening (more protective, I think - I love the way the child is quite oblivious to it) and the way it's made by cutting parts out of the picture rather than adding parts. Is that what people mean by using negative space? I'm not sure! To see the picture where I found it (in Ani's flickr) just click on the photo and it should take you there.

I also wanted to show you this leafy bird papercut by Joanna Rutter but it wouldn't let me copy the picture so you will just have to click on the link and be glad you did!

I'm almost excited now at the thought of having to redo my own low-end paper cutting of a few weeks ago. I don't think I'll be creating anything like these just yet though!


  1. It looks so beautiful and easy doesn't it? I got a book out of the library specifically to do some paper cutting but never got round to it. Maybe one day - along with crochet, knitting, cross stitch.....

  2. Yeah, I also really want/mean to try needle felting, quilling (which I used to do when I was little) and crochet, specifically amigurumi. My sister showed me how to do it (and how to make sense of the instructions) when I was visiting my parents recently but I think I have forgotten already. I was thinking the other day that it might be a good idea to set myself the task of trying one new craft each month. It might be do-able, for a while at least? And it's a new month tomorrow!

  3. wow, that last one is amazing! I do love them all tho, esp those trees.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  4. I've since discovered that the last one was a gift to the artist's daughter (the child in the photo) and is supposed to show how her mum will always be protecting her even when she's not there. I think I love it even more now!

    Don't get your hopes up for my papercutting just yet - these inspirations may need many years to actually come to something/nothing!


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