Monday, September 30, 2013

Personalized Paper Cuttings - Emma Boyes

I recently came across Emma Boyes, a UK paper cutter who has only been creating designs since last December. Each hand drawn and hand cut piece is unique and cut from a single sheet of paper.


I asked Emma about her work and process. Enjoy!

My background is in interior design and I also have a masters in digital design, but I put that on hold to have my little girl. What started out as a hobby has now become my main job and I'm hoping to get a website and blog sorted in the new year. I thank my lucky stars every day that I am able to earn a living doing something I adore whilst being a full-time mum.

How did you go about learning paper cutting?

I'm completely self-taught and really just started experimenting. Whilst studying interior design I often had to make card models so I already had all the tools I needed - cutting mat, scalpels, and loads of paper. It was just a way of using what I had on hand. I instantly fell in love and now I can't imagine doing anything else.

I didn't read any books about it or do research, but learned through trial and lots of error. In the beginning I remember spending hours on quite a simple design and breaking my heart when I made a mistake right at the end. Every mistake teaches you what not to do next time.


I found you via Facebook where there seems to be such a supportive paper cutting community. Quite a few of you are located in the UK and you link to one another and share images.

When I set up my page last February I started finding lots of other paper cutters. I was astounded by how popular the craft was, as none of my family or friends had even heard of it when I first started. I became friends with a fellow paper cutter and she got me some of my first paying customers by kindly sharing one of my pictures with her followers. I think its important to support each other and I believe that there is room for all of us as we each have unique styles that appeal to different tastes.


Have you had the chance to meet other paper cutters in person?

I would love to say that we all meet up and share crafty tales, but the reality is that most of us are fitting in our work around family life. That's why Facebook is so amazing. We can support and encourage each other by simply sitting at our desks. Every day I'm inspired by the other crafters and artist pages.

Lest you think all Emma cuts are pretty leaves and flowers, here's a playful piece she created for a young girl's room... judging by the paints and crayons, I have a feeling the recipient enjoys being creative too.


Do you have a tip to share with other paper cutters who are just starting out?

My top tip would be to have a spare piece of paper nearby. If you're not sure how to cut a particular piece, then do a practice piece first. More often than not this little trick will save you from having to start all over again.

Emma says this next design is the most delicate cutting she has done, and literally held her breath while removing the cut outs.


People always say to me you must have the patience of a saint, but I find the whole process highly addictive. Seeing the end result is such a high!


Emma Boyes is on Facebook.

Top photo credit: Antonia McIntosh, who won the family tree paper cutting in a giveaway on Emma's page. Antonia of Birdie and Bee also does lovely paper cuttings.


LostnThought said...

WOW, I'm just blown away! What an amazing talent!

Maureen said...

Such lovely and intricate-looking work. How heartening to read that another artist's openness and support helped Boyes get a start in selling her work.

Carole M. said...

well done Emma and thanks Ann for finding her and these beautiful paper-cuts. I LOVE every one of them. Some like a crochet doiley. Makes me want to pick up the knife again .... Getting around the cursive lettering would be arduous; I will come back to this post again to read into it further. This is my quick comment after a quick glance....again, LOVE all of them Emma!

Ann Martin said...

Hi Carole, it's so nice you stopped by and I hope you'll return to paper cutting!

Ann Martin said...

Yes, I thought that was really nice of the other paper cutter too, Maureen.

LimeRiot said...

Detailed paper cutting like this totally blows my mind. Such craftsmanship! This really are treasures.


I am becoming more and more enamoured of paper cutting and this lovely work is really inspiring! But I haven't yet had the courage to to try and do something.................

Jan Castle said...

Hope Carole returns to paper crafting too!!!! Her photography is wonderful...but I miss her creative genius in paper art-she just laughs when I tell her 'this would make a beautiful card'!
Emma's work is stunning - delighted it makes her happy (me too!)

Patricia Schwab said...

Thanks for showing us all these amazing artist on your blog. I love seeing all the interesting designs made from paper. You definetely need steady hands for paper cutting so intricate besides the vision to turn plain paper into such beauty.

SUGANTHI said...

Beautiful Work . Very inspiring.

Ann Martin said...

So glad you all enjoyed seeing Emma's work; thanks for your comments!

Anonymous said...

how intricate and divine!i have never had a go at paper cutting....but reading Emma's feature it makes me want to give it a go!

Geetha Naik said...

Amazing !!, so intricate and beautiful. Thanks Ann for this find. Her designs are feast to the eyes.

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