Monday, June 30, 2014

Recycled Paper Sculptures - Hannah Lobley

I was introduced to the 'wood to paper to wood' art pieces made by British environmental paper artist Hannah Lobley via Twitter. While a student of Decorative Arts and later Applied Art and Visual Culture at university, Hannah accidentally left a book outside in the rain. This led her to develop a unique process of bonding unusable printed pages and transforming the hardened substance into wood-like objects via traditional woodworking methods.

 A piece commissioned by Berryman Solicitors for their boardroom,
produced using waste paper provided by employees.

Hannah's Paperwork career has spanned the past decade, yet she continues to be surprised by the variety of wood grain effects that result from converting different types of paper.

Layered joke book pages

The award-winning sculptures Hannah creates attract those who share her love of art, books, design, and of course, concern for the environment. Paperwork objects have been exhibited in the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, China, and Korea, featured in books, magazines, on television and radio, and can be found in permanent collections in Leeds, England and Chicago.

Chess set made from Yellow Pages and unwanted books


Below, a couple's wedding cards were beautifully transformed into a first anniversary present.


Each piece takes four to six weeks to complete, no matter its size.  This decorative cup and bowl were produced from expired account ledgers.

photographer: Daniel Lane 

Curious about how and why finding a wet book led to the discovery of her Paperwork process, I asked Hannah:

Was it the stuck together pages that caused you to think of a specific way you could do the same to all discarded paper or was it the waste of a good book that made you determined to find a way to bring new life to unwanted books in general?

Both. I had been layering and laminating different woods into blocks and shaping them during the last year of my BA and first term of my MA, so layering pages seemed like the most natural thing to do. Although pages were thinner than wood and there were more of them, I was intrigued to see how this changed the patternation, with the added prospect of the textured surface of the pages.

A ring made from the wet, ruined book that started it all.

The book was Lord of the Rings, one of my favourites. I couldn't bear it to go to waste and actually produced a large scale version of the ring. I like the idea of shaping a block of book in relation to its original subject or the information that is encapsulated in the piece.

IKEA catalog pages

What part of the process of creating a Paperwork object is your most favorite?

Turning it on the lathe and sanding the surface. I love the uncovering of the texture and pattern as each one is different and I can't control what will happen. It's a bit like discovering the grain when you cut into a piece of wood; until you look inside you don't know what is there.

Wind and Wings, a commissioned eco-artwork that hangs in AEON Lake Town in Tokyo, Japan's largest and eco-friendly shopping center. It was created from recycled cardboard and 12,000 A4 sheets of waste office paper.
photographer: Daniel Lane

Do you have a least favorite part of the process?

Gluing the pages together, layer by layer. It can be therapeutic, but you do have to be in the right frame of mind.  Put some good music on and switch your brain off!

Chunky Book Ends utilized expired university course brochures.

Hannah can be contacted via her website and is on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Paper Panda Papercuts - Louise Firchau

Artist Louise Firchau's Facebook page, Paper Panda, has a whopping 139,000 Likes which almost makes me hesitant to put up this post... perhaps you're already very familiar with her work. However, I can't resist sharing images of the joyful paper cuttings Louise creates with those of you who haven't yet been introduced.


In a recent post on her blog, Louise, who is an avid reader, mentioned that the designs are often inspired by childhood books such as Alice in Wonderland and Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. In fact she keeps a stack of books in her studio to refer to, but many other things prompt ideas as well... song lyrics, something she's read, or a printed design.


Louise's life sounds as if it would fit right into one of her beloved storybooks, as she lives and works in England’s picturesque Cotswolds. She was an explorer of many crafts over the years, but it wasn't until Louise and her husband Ryan, who is also an artist with whom she frequently collaborates, received a scherenschnitte design as a wedding gift, was she inspired to give paper cutting a try. Working with small scissors did not go well, but as soon as she switched to a scalpel, a new creative path was forged.


Louise admits to many long hours hand drawing or digitally creating designs which she then carefully cuts with a sharp blade. She enjoys teaching too and creates diy kits that help others learn to cut paper. A beginners kit is offered in her Big Cartel shop, Paper Panda. Once you're past the early stage, you'll find additional cutting templates available as instant downloads via her Etsy shop, Paper Panda Papercuts. The Love cutting (above) is one example.


Speaking of Louise's Big Cartel shop, that's where you'll find many of her cut paper designs transformed into home items and giftware, such as vinyl wall decals, prints, cards, and more.


But back to the Paper Panda Facebook page... I've long noticed there are many paths that can be taken in the running of an online creative business. Louise's method is one that has been a successful whirlwind ever since it launched in 2010. She encourages others who are just starting out to interact often with readers as a way of networking. Even though Louise doesn't have an official website other than her blog and shops, there are more orders than ever, due in large part to her FB page that practically hums with activity... you'll find giveaways, contests, and special sales that involve customer interaction.

One marketing idea that goes over especially well is Tiny Tuesday. Louise creates a unique batch of super-small and super-cute handcut phrases and places them in little float frames. These are offered hourly throughout the day and are quickly snapped up.


How does she do all this, you must be wondering? For a long while Louise handled everything herself, but now she has wisely turned over the page's management to three helpers who take care of replying to the many comments and questions. Otherwise I can't imagine how she would ever get any papercuts done!


To learn more about Louise's cutting process, enjoy this recent interview over at UK Handmade.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Paper Sculpture by Eloise Corr Danch

Eloise Corr Danch was one of the first paper flower artists spotlighted on the blog back in 2009. A recent email about Flowering, a new show at Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York City that features a floor to ceiling column of Eloise's multi-colored blooms along with floral works by seven painters, prompted a catch-up visit to her website... she's been busy since that earlier post!


Waiting for Pearl 2014
hand-cut paper and mixed media installation
79 x 14 x 14 inches

While Eloise focused on painting and illustration early on in her career, now she mainly creates three dimensional paper flowers, dresses, and props for a variety of clients and publications. Enjoy these examples...

DuJour Spring 2013
photographer: Bruce Weber
Vogue China February 2013
photographer: Chris Craymer
  fashion stylist: Morgan Pilcher

Beautiful cut paper backdrops for Chico's Holiday 2014 and Bergdorf Goodman Spring 2013.

 photographer: Dewey Hicks
 photographer: Horacio Salinas

Store window displays that feature paper art are a favorite of New York City visitors.

 Macy's Herald Square Flower Show 2009
photographer: Richard Cadan
 Macy's Herald Square Christmas 2010
photographer: Richard Cadan

This is just one of the remarkable historical paper dresses Eloise has made. It was on display at Slash: Paper Under the Knife, a 2010 exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City.


More images at Eloise Corr Danch and see the way she cuts and shapes each flower by hand:

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Five New Paper Craft Titles

Every now and then I find a just-released paper craft book in my mailbox... definitely a nice perk of blogging lo these many years. Quite a few titles arrived this spring as publishers have responded to the surge of interest in paper. Here's a brief introduction to four new books and a kit.


Beautiful Origami Flowers: 23 Blooms to Fold by Anca Oprea from Lark covers the tempting art of paper flower folding. The designs offer both surprisingly realistic models - the morning glory, columbine, tulip, and calla lily especially caught my eye - and others that are mainly imaginative.


Directions are clearly detailed with text and photos. There's also a nice amount of information on supplies and folding techniques.


Cut and Fold Techniques for Pop-Up Designs is a Laurence King paperback by prolific designer Paul Jackson. It was just a year or so ago that I reviewed another paper engineering title in this series by Paul, Cut and Fold Techniques for Promotional Materials.


I like that the book starts out with instructions on how to best use the contents, moves along to the particulars of cutting, which tools and paper are best, etc., and then shows ideas for making one sheet pop-ups that anyone from a hobby crafter to design student to marketing professional will find useful.


Playing with Pop-Ups - the Art of Dimensional, Moving Paper Designs by Helen Hiebert for Quarry Books offers projects from a variety of artists that will appeal to all ages. I enjoyed learning about the history of pop-ups and found the earliest examples fascinating. Pop-up terminology is explained and supplies are detailed.


A few of the projects are quite easy, while others require more time and thought. Templates, photographs, and paper recommendations for each example are included.

If you aren't already familiar with Helen, an enthusiastic paper maker and artist, I think you'll enjoy her blog. I especially like the Sunday Paper feature in which she shares paper-themed news from around the world.


Japanese Paper Crafting is a re-release of the 2007 book for Tuttle Publishing by Michael G. LaFosse with Richard L. Alexander and Greg Mudarri. With paper crafting so hot, and washi practically a household name thanks to the popularity of washi tape, I can see why they would bring this one out again.


The included history of washi and detailed instructions for making your own are informative, and the projects have an elegance due at least in part to the use of such gorgeous paper.


Lastly, Tuttle's One Minute Paper Airplanes Kit: 12 Pop-Out Planes, Easily Assembled in Under a Minute by Andrew Dewar contains a stack of colorfully printed pop-outs to make a dozen card stock planes, a rubber band catapult launcher, and step-by-step instruction booklet.


As an author with more than thirty books to his name and two other airplane kits, you're in the hands of an expert. No complicated folds or glue are required - only a stapler. My young nephews will have a blast with this one.

Summer is such a great time for both kids and adults to try out new crafts... just think, you might find a project that will start you on the path to making this year's holiday gifts!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Asymmetric Fringed Flowers Tutorial

It was my aunt-in-law's birthday over the weekend and we celebrated with a surprise party. She loves to garden and is fond of pastels, so I wrapped her gift in floral paper and attached this handmade card.

Fringed Flower Tutorial

I don't think I've ever shared the specifics on how to make an asymmetric fringed flower... it reminds me of a spider chrysanthemum (spider mum for short) - a funny name, but one that fits due to the leggy petals. I used pearlized paper to make the card blank, flowers, and leaves... it's a joy to work with such a pretty sheen!

Fringed Flower Tutorial

Pearlized paper is carried by most quilling and general paper suppliers and is sold as 8.5 x 11 inch sheets. It's also available as quilling strips, but because I wanted to cut my own wide, angled strips (about 1-1.25 inches at the widest end), I chose sheets. You'll need tacky glue and a bit of extra patience when working with pearlized paper because of the slick surface.

Fringed Flower Tutorial

a. Make fine, even cuts with detail scissors, snipping from the long, angled edge toward the straight edge.
b. When the strip is fully fringed, roll it snugly on a quilling needle tool, stiff wire, or cocktail stick starting at the narrow end.
c. Apply a dot of glue at the end, fluff out the petals, and curl them downward with scissors as if you were curling ribbon.

Try different strip lengths and widths to get the flower size you want - there's no reason why you can't make huge flowers to hang as party decor just by starting with a very large, angled strip. 

If you're making flowers for greeting cards and would like them to have centers like mine, glue a 3 inch strip of 1/8 inch quilling paper to the base of the narrow end before rolling.

Folded Leaf Tutorial

I tucked a couple of leaves under the fringe of each flower... here's an easy way to make them:

a. Fold a small rectangle in half lengthwise.
b. With the paper still folded, cut a half-leaf shape along the open edge, then make tiny snips on the edge.
c. Open the leaf and curve the tip.

Fringed Flower Tutorial 
Have fun experimenting with fringed flowers... there's no reason why you can't make huge ones to use as party decor.  For lots more ideas, check out this post.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Paper Maché Ships & More: Ann Wood

Brooklyn artist Ann Wood draws, paints, and makes an assortment of one-of-a-kind, ethereal boats and birds that are snapped up by avid collectors.


A consummate repurposer, Ann uses salvaged fabric scraps, often culled from antique Edwardian garments, to make sails and clad the soft sculpture creatures who steer her handmade paper maché ships.


When she isn't making boats and dear leggy birds...


...Ann can be found writing and photographing step-by-step tutorials. You might recall her popular paper maché teacups and the instructions she shared so you can make your own. Ann recently mentioned more patterns will be available beginning in about two weeks time and later on, will offer ship supply packs. (yes! I'm a fan of paper craft kits) There will be one for Dream 2, the boat you see below...


...but meanwhile you can fill many hours by making a stampede of galloping cardboard horses via Ann's tutorial...


...or follow her instructions to create this little Mediterranean sailboat with a single sail. The supplies are so basic, it's a project you can jump into right away.


Keep up with Ann Wood's latest projects via her blog.

Monday, June 9, 2014

3D Paper Models - Vintage Style by Jacqueline Wagner

If you're one with a soft spot for all things retro-modern, I think you'll enjoy the paper models and jewelry that London illustrator/designer Jacqueline Wagner creates.


Jacqueline's favorite material to work with is paper... she fondly remembers making shoe box dollhouses and playgrounds as a child. To this day, Jacqueline continues the playful theme in the form of handmade 3D models that she turns into whimsical, wearable conversation starters. To give you an idea of scale, this vintage typewriter necklace measures a bit less than 1.5 inches in diameter.


Lucky for us, Jacqueline shares tutorials on her blog that show how she goes about constructing colorful models from foam core board - such as a retro typewriter, caravan, ice cream van, and jukebox. Via photographic magic, they become sturdy, water repellent paper necklaces, brooches, and earrings.


Paper Caravan Brooch
Caravan Brooch

Jacqueline also does commercial projects - paper illustration and set/costume design. This Happy Times illustration is one she created for Emotion, a German magazine. The article it accompanied "discussed our fear of looming catastrophes and disasters, while highlighting the benefits of living in an affluent society."


Jacqueline's Etsy shop is Splendid Paper Craft by Fine Format.



Visit her website to see more creative projects and find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

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