An Evening Of Paper Cutting With Poppy's Papercuts: How To Create Paper Cut Art


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Unsurprisingly, I love trying out new crafts. Creating paper cut artwork was something that I had never done, so when G . F Smith invited me to a paper cutting workshop with Poppy Chancellor (paper cutting artist and illustrator du jour) to celebrate their quest to discover the world's favourite colour, I jumped at the opportunity.

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Two examples of Poppy's amazing artwork.

Two examples of Poppy's amazing artwork.

The evening was held at G . F Smith's London showroom on Eastcastle St, which was such a beautiful space. Inside the showroom was not only stacks of quality paper in a vast range of colours and finishes, but a real insight into their paper producing process.

An example of the colour dyes added to make G . F Smith's wide range of coloured papers.
An example of the colour dyes added to make G . F Smith's wide range of coloured papers.

An example of the colour dyes added to make G . F Smith's wide range of coloured papers.

There were huge G . F Smith books to peruse to find the exact colour and finish of paper that you require:

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After Poppy gave a brief introduction to herself and her business, 'Poppy's Papercuts', Poppy revealed to us the tools that we would need to create a paper cut artwork. These simply were a rubber mat, a surgical scalpel, plus a pencil and paper!

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Poppy gave us a practice sheet of shapes, so that we could start practicing paper cutting and getting used to the knife. She also spilled her top tips for paper cutting.....

My first paper cutting attempts. Total circle failure.

My first paper cutting attempts. Total circle failure.

To cut out circles, first make a cross inside the circle with the knife, then cut out each quarter of the circle individually. Cut with the knife moving towards you rather than away from you:

For straight lines (which are SO much easier to do), make sure you overlap the cutting line so that it creates a 'fishtail'. The paper to be removed pops out much cleaner and easier:

After a bit of practice on a number of different shapes, Poppy gave us one of her beautiful illustrations to cut out. I chose the design which was a hand holding London in the shape of a heart.

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The illustration is upside down and back to front, as you flip the final piece over ( you do not want any of the pencil-drawn lines to show on your end result). I then had to work out in my brain just what exactly I was cutting away, and what was staying, which actually did confuse me for a while!

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I then got stuck in, and the workshop just flew by! This craft I found to be really relaxing and therapeutic. As long as you followed the lines (and don't cut your finger off), not much could go wrong!

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I was pretty chuffed with my end result, and I was no way top of class.

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Poppy then got us to mount our cutting on a colour of G . F Smith paper of our choice, with little tiny padded square double-sided stickers. Not only do these stickers hold the papercut down on the mount paper, Poppy also told us that the fact the papercut is raised slightly makes the papercut look more effective due to the shadows created.

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I really enjoyed paper cutting with Poppy! If you want to have a go at paper cutting some of her designs yourself, she has a book called 'Cut It Out!' which you can purchase from all good retailers.

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I'd like to thank G . F Smith for hosting the event! They have this amazing paper installation in their Eastcastle St showroom which is worth seeing if you are in the area. Also, don't forget to go vote for your favourite colour over on their website to have your say in what is the world's favourite colour!