Saturday, 4 February 2012

It's finished!

Around two weeks ago I started work on a paper cut inspired by the shipping forecast and mythical maps.  Over the last three days, I have spent over 15 hours using around 6 knife blades to cut the final piece. I am pleased to say that it is finished.  During the cutting process I took lots of photographs to try and give you a glimpse at how I work and see the piece in more detail. Unfortunately the weather didn't go along with the plan and so the light has been appalling. Please accept my apologies for the less than perfect photos.
The template for the design, clipped to the black Cranford paper ready to start cutting!
Conventionally paper cutters reverse the image and cut the back of the paper, turning it over to reveal the final image at the end.  This has many advantages; it hides superficial cut marks and gives a nice clean finish. Unfortunately I cannot cut text backwards try as I might and so I normally cut with the image the "right" way round.
Here you can see the trace marks of my knife after I traced over the whole design with my knife. I then cut along these trace lines to cut right through the paper.
It is always advisable to cut the small details first. The paper retains its strength for longer and you are less likely to cut through a tiny detail, or tear the work.
I worked across the map, only cutting out larger sections once all the fine detail had been cut.
About 10 hours in!
This is the whirlpool - almost finished

Hello whale!

You'd think I was nearly done right? (wrong!)
The Kraken's tentacles required a knife blade all to themselves. I'm really pleased with result though - even if it did take me 90mins!

DONE! Here is the final piece - yet to be mounted. It is resting on my desk - a teacher's table from my old school. I actually think the wood background adds to the piece; giving it an aged look.


  1. I absolutely love this piece! Can't believe how much work goes into them, it's amazing!

  2. Wow - that is fantastic! Hope it sells well!


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