About Me

My photo
Arlesey, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
I am a cut paper artist and I live in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. I am originally from Wiltshire, from a very long village called Winterslow, just outside Salisbury. I make my work by drawing into a black piece of paper and then layering colours from behind which I cut into again. This makes very delicate and intricate paper pieces that are inspired by my love of the landscape and the natural world about me.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Adult and Student one day workshop - Stratton Upper School Arts Weekend

In February this year I ran a one day adult/student paper cutting workshop at Stratton Upper School in Biggleswade, Beds. The workshop was part of a two day arts weekend that current students attended as well as members of the public from the surrounding areas. Some students came with family members to learn together. I did an extended talk through my work and processes and the rest of the workshop was spent teaching the techniques I use and applying them to individual pieces so that by the end of the day students and adults had a wadge of art to take home with them. Here was some beautiful art made on the day. I stupidly took pictures upside down! but you will get a taster of the work that was created.

My work laid out for people to see and feel....

Cut text piece

Beautiful peacock feather!

Pop Up Festival of Stories - working with James Mayhew and Clara Vulliamy

More updating of this blog! Here are some photos from the Pop-Up Festival of Stories that I took part in with James Mayhew and Clara Vulliamy back in 2012.  It seems a long time ago, but we had a great day and lots of wonderful memories. Set just in the covered areas outside Kings Cross and Central St. Martins' College, the day was a run of different art events. James did story telling and a large painting with the visiting children, whilst Clara made a large collage too. I did a small talk and demonstration cutting faces into paper, as well as running drop in sessions to make paper dragons and free cut paper faces. I am not used to working with a microphone! It was a little daunting at first! but it was lovely to see the children's faces when I revealed the paper faces unfolded! It was such a lovely day, and my biggest festival type event that I have worked at, so it was quite a day!


Paper faces and a textiles angel altar frontal at St. Francis College

In January last year I worked at St. Francis College in Letchworth Garden City.  I worked with lots of pupils, ranging from Year 6 girls up to the Upper Sixth. These photos are from the workshops I ran getting the students to have a go at paper face free cutting, as well as examples of the textiles work I developed with Year 10 over several weeks. They each made an angel head by using layers of silk bonded onto calico with Bondaweb. After that they made printing blocks from mount card and printed these onto the surface of the bonded fabrics. Additional detailing was done with embroidery and pen drawing. I sewed all the pieces together to form an algel altar frontal that was in place in time for the Christmas season at the end of 2013.

One day workshop with Yr 5 at Willington Independent Prep School, Wimbledon

These are some photos from a recent one day workshop at Willington Independent Prepatory School, Wimbledon, London. It was with Year 5 split into two groups, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, 30 pupils in total. Each workshop had two parts: free cutting session and 3d "Box of Delights" session. It was great to read art teacher Ray Cassar's feedback!

Art teacher Ray Cassar's paper cut face


My Philosophy

I believe.....

I firmly believe in the importance of making art and being creative and working with materials that are very easily available and accessible for all ages. The workshops are simple to resource as I use materials that are easy to get hold of. The activities aren’t too messy either as paper is easy to clear away after a workshop! I generally use coloured paper, tissue paper, PVA glue, scissors, pencils – with maybe some newspapers and a variety of drawing materials like pens and oil pastels or graphite sticks for making rubbings.

I firmly believe in the hand made too, to make art out of things that don’t need a power source. Making art that involves touching and feeling materials in your hands.

Developing Core Skills
Working with paper may seem simplistic at first but it actually develops children’s core skills. Cutting with scissors improves hand eye co-ordination which directly helps with hand writing and drawing skills. The act of cutting and sticking stretches a child’s planning and thinking skills as they need to work out spatially how the picture they want to make is formed. There are constant micro decisions that have to be made about size, colour, shape, texture, balance, symmetry. It’s a subtle process of evaluating that is at the very heart of what I do and they get to do too.

Sustainable Skills
Cutting into paper gets pupils to experience a new art form. I often bring examples of other types of paper art to workshops to show the range of contemporary work that is being made by other artists now. With older students I often get feedback from staff that the students use what they have learnt to directly use in their exam pieces and course work after I have visited. It’s great to see how they have gone on to use paper cutting.

Creative Journey
I always encourage students/adults to go on a creative journey of discovery. Playing with the paper and experimenting with what happens to it when you cut it, bend it, fold or tear is all part of exploring individual creativity. Drawing is an important part of the process too as it makes you able to look at things in the world in another way or notice shapes and details that you have never noticed before. Often children don’t get this chance to have a freer rein at home or at school. Many projects in school have a defined end product to ensure everyone does exactly the same.

I design projects that:

  • Build self esteem through learning new techniques
  • Make children and adults use their hands to experience making art in a tactile way
  • Projects that have clear timings, with deliverable and realistic outcomes
  • Projects that are designed to suit all ages with extension tasks for more able students
  • Projects that are suitable for adults and children to learn together
  • Develop core skills of materials handling, drawing and planning skills
  • Sessions that can be run as part of school day, after school or weekends
  • Activities that are suitable from ages 6 and up