Walk with me

We love commissions but some commissions we really love. This was one of them as not only was it a surprise for someone’s partner, it had to convey a sense of the shared love this couple had enjoyed over the years. Fortunately we had a key ingredient to make a successful commission – a brief, which in this case was to include some lyrics from a treasured song which began, “Walk with me under the stars”. The rest was up to us …

Did we mention there was a tight budget? Well there was, and one which was reduced prior to starting the design process. Still, there’s nothing like a challenge to focus the mind so we began by looking for clues within the lyrics themselves. And there were many but something about the imagery of stars in the night sky with the lyrics themselves hanging underneath caught our imagination. The words in their own way could represent visually the act of forever walking under the stars as they hung there in the permanence of the night sky.

Next came the challenge of translating an idea into an actual design so we began by playing with some star shapes and sizes. For a papercut to work, every element needs to be joined to something else so we then had to work out not just how to connect the stars to one another, but to connect the lyrics to the stars. Then there was the small matter of working out the right font for the lyrics. We tried straight lines, ornate lines, big stars, small stars and a range of different fonts before finding a combination which we liked. A mix of different sized stars connected by a mix of straight and curved delicate connections, mirrored in the elegant, handwriting script.

Looking at the narrowness of the connections caused some initial anxiety about the steadiness of hand required to cut such a fragile design. On something this minimalist yet intricate, there is simply no margin for error. A snagging blade, a slip of the hand, or even a groove in the cutting mat could all spell disaster. Little and often is the key here, with a change in scalpel blade the minute you feel the first sense of resistance in the paper. There were some last minute nerves when it came to separating the finished cut from the background paper but there it was, a perfectly cut creation.

One that then needed to be sprayed … We consulted with the client to see if they had any preference but they left the choice to us. After some mulling, we rejected the obvious white on black and went for a rich silver on a deep midnight blue background. One Pope & Lawn signature, frame and certificate of authenticity¬†later, and we had the finished piece. Another completely one-off, hand-cut paper cut work of art now existed where once it hadn’t. Another work of art to add to the wider body of art humankind has created over the centuries.

As for the client, they loved it saying it encapsulated exactly what she had hoped for. More importantly perhaps, her partner also loved it – phew!!! It is now hanging in pride of place on their bedroom wall, next to the card given to our client by her partner, which also happened to feature silver stars against a dark blue background and the words, “I love you”.

If you’d like to commission a complete one-off, hand-cut work of art, for that special person (even if that’s yourself!), then why not get in touch? We know you’ll be delighted with the results, and pleasantly surprised about how affordable it can be.

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