Flora and Fauna Paper Sculpture from Recycled Materials - Kate Kato

I just returned from a visit to coastal Maine where I enjoyed being closer to nature than I usually am in my suburban life. No wonder then, that I was immediately drawn to the intricate paper sculptures of natural objects that are created by artist Kate Kato when I spotted them on Instagram. A lengthy visit to her beautiful website, Kate Kato, left me even more enamored with her work.

Paper Sculpture Insect Collection by Kate Kato

Kate earned a degree in Graphic Design with a focus on book making and print from the University of the West of England in 2006.

Paper Sculpture Fly Agaric no.1 by Kate Kato

She worked as a photographer and graphic designer upon graduation, but a move to the Welsh borders nearly a decade later inspired Kate to focus on 3D work by artistically replicating the plants and small creatures in her new surroundings.

Paper Sculpture Altered Book Honeycomb with Bees by Kate Kato

Kate often carries home natural finds from countryside walks that she documents by first creating sketches and then painstakingly translates into tactile models. She says she likes her creations "to look real and not real at the same time inviting the viewer to consider details they may normally overlook and stimulate curiosity for the made item and the real thing."

Paper Sculpture Death's-Head Hawk Moth by Kate Kato

Moths, butterflies, mushrooms, beetles, wildflowers, and feathers... all are fair game on Kate's work table. She mentions developing newfound respect for birds while building this nest. The speckled egg shell is paper maché.

Paper Sculpture Bird's Nest, Feathers and Egg Shells by Kate Kato

Kate upcycles papers along with bits of fabric, wire, thread, and leather to create highly detailed creatures, some with a hint of whimsy due to various finishing techniques.

Paper Sculpture Insects by Kate Kato

While fashioned these life-size sculptures, Kate employs techniques such as carving, stitching, and wire wrapping, and then paints the papers with watercolors for a sense of realism.

Paper Sculpture Iris by Kate Kato

Even as a child, Kate would collect tiny natural elements in tins and boxes. Visits to museums where she observed the ways collections were displayed led to a love of arranging her creations in special containers. Botanical illustrations have long fascinated her.

Paper Sculpture Physalias by Kate Kato
Kate's work is currently on display in Hebden Bridge, Herefordshire, and London through October. See upcoming dates on her Exhibitions page.

Paper Sculpture Mushrooms by Kate Kato
This limited edition print featuring paper sculpture fern fronds and wildflowers is an especially popular item in her Etsy shop, Kasasagi. [shop is no longer active, but Kate's art is available on the Shop page of her website.]

The Observer Book of British Wild Flowers art print by Kate Kato

She is on Instagram
Paper Sculptor Kate Kato

2023 UPDATE: In a recent blog post, Kate tells how she began making paper art.
Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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  1. Thank you for sharing her work. It is exquisite and inspiring. Such fabulous mushrooms, something that I am in need of making for an upcoming project.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Karin!

  3. It's nice when people can do what they love. Very nice, creative

  4. Thank you for showing your work art to us. I love it. I am from Namibia Rita Graef

    1. Welcome to All Things Paper, Rita! Thanks for commenting.


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