This month I have been to a paper cutting workshop run by artist Andy Singleton. I’ve been a fan of his paper sculptures since seeing visiting The First Cut exhibition in Manchester 2012. Generally everything I make is 2D, whether it is paper, photography or textile, so thinking in terms of a sculptural object is a challenge I’m intrigued to take on. In terms of visual impact filling up a space with an installation can be extremely effective so it was only natural to learn more about manipulating paper.
We started the workshop with a group paper cut to practice the act of cutting neatly. Then we took these randomly arranged designs and posed them in different shapes. It reminded me in some ways of when I first started learning to draw with mark making experiments- you’re taking a familiar skill back to it’s basic components and just seeing what comes from it. The more you cut away, the more flexible the structure, however the impact comes from what you choose to leave behind.
I struggled with the folding component rather more than the cutting as I’m less familiar with it. Neat and accurate folds don’t come naturally to me, but it was wonderful to see what other members of the group were able to do with just a few simple instructions. The beauty of the craft comes from it’s simplicity, paper is such a generic plentiful source material but with a few folds or cuts it becomes incredibly malleable and intricate with potential to assume just about any form.