How is it June already? Every year I have good intentions writing this blog about my papercutting life and every year once spring comes around I get caught up with the everyday work and forget to update! But when you’re busy drawing and sketching and trying out design ideas it is so easy to forget!
Summer always means wedding season so as well as creating everyday papercuts for my stockists, I’m usually busy working on wedding commissions too. People love personalised papercuts and I know I’ve said before that it is always interesting finding out the stories behind the designs. This year I’ve also made several naming day papercuts which I think are a lovely way to celebrate a baby’s arrival. When I’m working on one of these the trick for me is to create something that suits the occasion but also has enough life in it to last into adulthood. I can’t see the point of creating something that might be good on the wall while a baby is little but then gets put away in a box for safe keeping once the child gets older. Two designs I made last week will hopefully pass this test, a seaside-themed personalised papercut for a boy and a woodland papercut scene for his sister.
Here you can see my initial sketches, inked up (using a good old-fashioned pot of Quink and a fine brush) so I can check the design works before I cut it. As a Norfolk artist I was able to draw on all the coastal and countryside images I love to create these.
And here are the finished cuts, looking very pretty on their coloured backgrounds. Both were made for a repeat customer of mine who gave one of my regular cuts as a gift to a friend and said they were so happy with it she was inspired to commission something special. That’s the best reason to do it.
I also finished a personalised wedding papercut based on the location where the couple got engaged. For this I was sent a photograph of the spot, a photograph of the couple and a shot of their dog and their wedding flower choices. All of which came together rather beautifully.
Scenes like these are really popular with people looking for special gifts with lots of meaning behind them. It’s interesting I think that they’re quite different from a lot of my more folk-art inspired papercuts but they still work. It’s not a bad thing to be able to work across different styles, as long as the end result still looks like it’s your work. So many papercuts for sale these days are generic and I think that defeats the point. Cutting paper is a bit like handwriting, it has your own signature on it. I always prefer papercuts that have something properly handmade about them. It’s the way people always used to create them and I think it’s a shame if you can’t keep that rustic, handmade aspect alive with new designs, even the ones that end up being cut by machine rather than hand.