Irrespective of inspiration, each of our original papercuts, which may range in size from A5 through to A1, begins with an individual design based on either a hand drawn concept or our own photographs. This stage involves incorporating any text or, where required, any original verse as found in many of our earlier pieces. After being rigorously reviewed to ensure the design will actually work as physical papercut (i.e. there are no disconnected elements), it is then cut entirely and painstakingly by hand from a single piece of archive quality paper using only a scalpel. We then subject our initial cut to a meticulous examination where we address even the smallest imperfection before applying its appropriate colour/coating. Where a background is an integral element of the design, this is then created using the appropriate media and techniques. Only then is the delicate, intricately finished papercut mounted on its background before being signed and framed in its solid wood, custom made box frame.
Words like original and unique are often used to describe works of art so here’s a few reasons why we confidently say each of our papercut artworks are genuinely original and unique:
- Getting the initial hand drawn sketch/photograph for the design can take hours of experimenting with the right angle/light/content
- The actual design can take anything up to 20 hours or more, especially when dealing with complex images where the question is less “what do we include” and more “what do we leave out?”
- The actual cutting involves hundreds if not thousands of individual cuts, some of which may be as small as a single millimetre. This literally can take days with each cut needing to be executed with precision to achieve the quality we demand from ourselves. A single mistake in the wrong place can mean having to start all over again.
- Paper can be both remarkably resilient yet incredibly fragile. A complex papercut can blunt a surgical quality scalpel blade in 15 minutes (we can go through 20 blades easily per each original) yet crease and tear without warning at the slightest mishandling.
Consequently on the rare occasions we have done two versions of the same design, each will be entirely unique given that everything is done by hand.