Monday, January 10, 2011

new year, new me

I have been taking time away from my studio since the end of that period of time we refer to as the "holiday rush". Every year I am faster, better, and more efficient at getting my orders out, less stressed and pressured, which allows me a certain detached bemusement at the madness that surrounds Christmas. However, it is still incredibly draining, and I suppose there is a certain irony in the fact that with the extra money I make at the end of the year I have to use to take an extended vacation to recover from making all that money in the first place.

Ruth is gone now too, which while sad that I don't have my trusty studio sidekick to help me knock out orders, also gives me freedom to change things up at the studio. Don't get me wrong, I still need help, probably more desperately than I'm willing to admit, but I know I need a different kind of help now. For starters, someone who is not going to quit after a year or two. That probably means someone a little older, more settled, and just good with the hands, not necessarily an artist. And quiet. Know anyone?

With my time off I've been pursuing my major love for papercut art. I took an introductory papercut class last year where I was promptly overwhelmed with ideas to the point of paralysis. Unfortunately, as a beginner, I had little ability to render my ideas, so I gave up, that's exactly how impatient I am. My approach this time was to get some books, look at my favorite papercut artists, and just... go, no matter how much my work wasn't the way I really wanted it to be.
Then, I finally made something that didn't totally suck:
By the evening time, I finally made something I was proud of:


  1. Seriously, Whitney...those three were made in one day??!! WOW~ that's what I call being a natural, talk about patience an detail work!!! You should be proud :)

  2. Wow, the butterfly and the final piece are so beautiful! I'm amazed that you whipped these out in a day. The detailing and precision are incredible.

  3. I was very happy with it too. It's similar to renderings I've made in the surface of pots so the drawing went very quickly, and it's not that big either, maybe 6 inches tall. The familiarity of the drawing made the cutting go quickly too... plus I just have very fast hands!

  4. That final one was nicely dialed in... love it!

  5. I would love love love to come be your assistant/apprentice. Unfortunately, I have a full time job (as mom to four boys) and--well...I live in Japan. But other than that, I'm a PERFECT fit!
    Okay, maybe not.

    But in 6 or so months we'll be back in the states (hopeufully So. California) and at that point I'm going to make it a point to go to the next Renegade Craft Fair. I have friends to visit in S.F. anyway!

  6. wow beautiful, so intricate I dont think I'd be able to make something like that!

  7. Hi Whitney, your nested bowls are inspring, I'm going to try some this term in pottery class. Here's my favourite paper cutter, she's from Toronto:

  8. Oh yes, I know papercutdiecut, her work is pretty amazing!