Saturday, March 20, 2010


I get up at 6:45 every morning and start work some time around 8. Typically I spend part of the morning catching up on emails and The Internet, then I cut or design for people, break for lunch, then finish cutting, package new pieces, trip to the Post Office, return, email people who emailed me while I was at the Post Office. THEN sometime around 3:30, with 30 mins before my wife gets off work, I have this creative time that is MINE ALL MINE!!!

Well, lately that time hasn't been exactly enough time to work on a large 18x24 of a famous Boston landmark I started weeks ago and have gotten almost none of it finished, so instead, I've been focusing on smaller projects I stand a chance of finishing the same day I start.

Inspired by the creative geniuses over at etsy, including kfarrell, creater of tinysaurs, which I have miniature collection of, I decided to go small.

The wonders of the computer combined with the printing ability of laser printers, I realized I had everything I needed to shrink down an original design to mind-numbing porportions. SO, with a Sunday evening filled with Jen madly trying to finish a monstrous reading assignment (studying for her MA in Historical Archaeology- aren't we so interesting?) I dug through a bunch of photos looking for an appropriate idea.

I settled on a photo I took of the Chicago Library domed Tiffany glass celing during our trip to that amazing city last August.

I figured I should probably start with a size that made some logical sense, so I chose one square inch, popped the new design into photoshop, and Ta-Da!

I started cutting, and quickly realized I couldn't use my usual swivel knife as it wanted to move a bit too much for the delicateness of the design (wanted to twist and turn when I was cutting a 1mm thick straight line), so I switched to my usualy #11 blade/knife. Here's a progress shot:

Once finished, I mounted it to a 12x12 inch background to give it some presence on the wall and framed it up but good. Here it is unmounted and finally framed:

AND, if you are so impressed, you can even purchase the $65 framed original piece here on etsy.

After completing that and getting lots of "oohs and Ahs" I felt pretty good about the decision to go small and immediately started thinking of new ideas. Apparently this is harder than it looks to go so small because I've had a hard time coming up with ideas for interesting, cutable designs. I soon thought of the world map, since I was working on the Continent papercut designs.

I had to subtly modify the map a bit (bring the two hemispheres a bit closer together) but in the end, I was really happy with the design, which measures 1 x 1.75 inches huge.

Apparently it was a really awesome design because it was on Etsy a whole 6 hours before getting snatched up and now lives in a great home in Missouri:)

Like I said before, I'm struggling to come up with designs that would both look interesting small, but also be physically cut-able. Here are some recent experimentations that I love, but I'm not listing yet as I'm hoping to do even better.

I am working on a 1x1" version of this piece, which now hangs in a private collection in London:

About 1/3 done as you can see

Okay, that's it for now. If you have brilliant ideas for microcuts, do tell, do tell. And, speaking of telling, I have some very exciting news that will be confirmed at 10am today, after the confirmation, I'll be back with a nice announcement:)


Ann said...

those are incredible. I can't imagine cutting anything that small.

crumbs from the apples said...

they're so aahmazing! maybe try doing the skyline of new york city next time :) good luck with the rest of your designs!

Joe the papercutter said...

skyline is a GREAT idea, thanks!

Ashly Picazo said...

Wow, these are so awesome...I would think that something that intricate/delicate, would take some time to do, even on the small side. I don't think I could cut that small! Great job! It is no wonder that the map one got snatched up right away, either!

What would be really cool to see, how you could interpret tons of tiny bubbles into your style!

Alyna, The Gift Detective said...

Ideas for you!
- A single leaf, this could even be a series of leaved from different plants, trees, etc.
- A feather, you could go with the similar idea as above, bird feather vs. peacock feather since the shapes are so different
- Animal prints - different paw prints look so different - they could be mounted separately or together!
- A fingerprint - I've seen where people have magnified fingerprints and it looks like it would translate very well to a papercut
- Lip print. Sexy and fun! Have Jen make one for you with dark lipstick and all the places the lips don't meet the paper would be places you could cut. ;-)

Love what you've been doing!