November 27, 2012
With December approaching fast, I feel the need to share these wonderful advent calendars by Sally Swannel. These flat-pack wonders are assembled to create a free-standing three-dimensional house, complete with chimney and dorm windows, with 24 numbered advent windows on all sides. They are relatively easy to assemble too; we did add a tiny bit of double sided tape on a few of the tabs to make it more secure, but it was more for peace-of-mind than any physical need for it as the slot and tab design holds the house together very well!
I also adore the miniature advent cards, which come with an envelope, perfect for giving and receiving. I enjoy these traditional picture advents like these so much more than chocolate ones!
January 22, 2012
A few months ago I spent time drawing several designs for paper cuts (here, here and here), which never ended up being cut because of my lack of craft knife skills when it came to the details I wanted. But it’s a new year, and with that, comes new challenges, and new ways to overcome problems. So since I was having trouble with the details being so small, I figured, why not try cutting a larger version, so that the small details would also be bigger and easier to cut?
I took the design I posted a while back, based on the memories of travelling as a child, and started work on a larger version. It’s becoming so cold here that my fingertips felt frozen whilst I was trying to cut the paper! Although it’s not finished yet, I am very pleased with the results so far!
I’ve also got a few framed simpler papercuts availble in my etsy shop:
December 22, 2011
The winter solstice marks the very middle of winter, and whilst it is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, it is also a symbol of hope, and we are reassured that from now on the days will get longer and lighter and the nights will get shorter. Warm yourself by fires, light candles and create symbols of the growing sunshine to encourage its path. As we step into the spring in the coming months, right now we can appreciate the initial sparks of this exciting time with the waning of the winter season.
Above is a photograph taken during last winter’s snow, when I was working on my altered dolls from my Models from Childhood project.
October 31, 2011
Continuing on from last week, I have made another papercut design based on childhood travelling memories. I definitely prefer the brown paper to the block colour now, and I am particularly fond of the delicate washing line and oil lamp, as well as the weaving on the bender tent. There is one more image on the way that should be completed with celerity.
October 30, 2011
This week I updated my website with the completed series of textile pieces I had been meaning to finish for some time. Once again, I seemed to have chosen a repetitive process to create these works, (which are based on discriminative signs I remember outside shops during my childhood,) and started to get sores and cuts on my hands from the scissors during the cut-and-slash technique on the fabric. After a break from the process it was quite hard to find the motivation to go back to it, with so many foxy things to be doing, and so they sat in the studio, half completed, looking oddly dishevelled. It’s a huge sense of relief to finally finish them alongside the satisfaction of writing up the page for the website.
October 26, 2011
Paper cutting has been on my mind a lot over the last few years, but I am not entirely certain I have the technical skill to create the works of art I envision in my mind. After many messy attempts I have concluded that although I am a competent craft knife user, when it comes to the detailed lines and delicate card cutting of the designs, I can’t seem to master the technique. But I do love paper cuts and I love drawing plans for them even if I am not able to complete them myself.
The image above is the first in a series of paper cuts based on my memories of travelling as a child. Although, of course, it is not actually a paper cut, but a line drawing coloured in Photoshop so I could get an idea of what it would look like when I eventually perfected my cutting skills, or more likely, gave in and sent it to be laser cut, avoiding those pesky human errors that tend to add charm and character. I think it may work well in block colour as print too, but I do prefer it with the brown card backing.
September 2, 2011
I’ve never seen Laura Fords Rag and Bone series in the flesh, so to speak; I’ve only ever ogled at photographs of the sculptures, which are based upon characters from Beatrix Potter’s children’s books. In a twist which intended to show those who exist in the margins of society, such as the homeless and disenfranchised, these human-scaled figures from childhood rummage through bins, push prams of belongings or sit on the pavement, wrapped bundles of blankets. They seem to bridge childhood icons and adulthood issues, the fantasy of stories and the reality of society, the image of countryside animals adapting to city life.
March 2, 2011
My hands hurt. I don’t understand how people like Rob Ryan can make some intricate paper cuts and still be able to move their hands. I have only been making simple site scenes that are far to chunky for my liking and my hands ache like I’ve put them in one of those cardboard box crushers they used to have at the Co-op.
I enjoy the finished work though and I want to do something with it. Although a part of me wonders how useful this will be for my Critical Arts Practice, which I have been pushing out of my mind a lot these days and should really be getting on with.