Today, I did my first workshop at Tindalls. As I work there, I can do the workshops for free if there is enough space. The workshop was run by Lois Cordelia, one of our regular tutors at the store.
The papercutting workshop is something that I have wanted to do for a while now. There is piece made my Lois hanging just above the door of a mermaid with flowing hair on a glittery background and I admire it every time I am at work. It has always interested me because of the detail that has gone into it and how hard it looks to do. I was going to do the workshop a couple of months ago, but it was on a Saturday so I busy. I’m just happy that the opportunity came up again.
To start the workshop, Lois talked us through the history and culture of papercutting. One of my favourites that we looked at was the mexican paper cuts. They are usually made for the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. This festival has always interested me and I love some of the traditions that they do for it, being the sugar skulls and they decorations that they make. I love the paper cuts that are hung up at that time of the year, they are usually made of tissue paper and they makes them look so delicate.
Once we had heard about the history, we were able to start our own paper cuttings. We started by having a practise sheet of paper and by doing some straight and curved lines to get a feel for the scalpel. Once we were happy we started to have a go at drawing a square and drawing lines in it that we would later cut around. The lines were very thin so I was very worried that I might cut through them, but they went very well and I was very pleased! I had a few more practises at that before I moved on doing an actual picture.
After that, Lois brought out some template that we could have a go at. I chose a butterfly because it is my favourite animal. We started by drawing the edges of the template on some tracing paper, and then turned the paper over and drew over the lines on a paper with our colour choice. I chose orange because it reminded me of a monarch butterfly, and orange is my favourite colour. Once it was traced in pencil, we went over the lines in a contrasting coloured pencil and coloured in the bits that we would be cutting out, that way we don’t get confused.
After all that came the cutting out. Lois told us that its best to start with the smallest, most intricate pieces, that way it is done when we have the most paper and we don’t mess it up nearer the end. Most of this was quite small so it didn’t matter what bit I did first. I thought it would take me quite a while to get through it. but once I got the hang of it I powered through it! I am so happy with the final outcome and I like how contrasting it looks on the dark background, it really makes it stand out.
After that was finished, I was very eager to start another one! This time I chose to do some owls. This one had a differnt set up to the piece because it had a border that I had to add on myself. It also had some very small bits that I wasn’t lookng forward to, however it helped me get the hang of doing curves and they came out looking really clean.
I was really happy that I did this workshop and that I have learnt a new craft that might come in handy at some point. It has got me excited to started doing some more paper cutting now I am home and have already created a pinterest board to give me inspiration! Papercutting Pinterest Board