The art of paper cutting

Chinese Paper Cutting or Jianzhi (剪纸) is the first type of papercutting design, since paper was invented by Cai Lun in the Eastern Han Dynasty in China. The art form later spread to other parts of the world with different regions adopting their own cultural styles. Because the cut outs are also used to decorate doors and windows, they are sometimes referred to “chuāng huā” (窗花), meaning Window Flower.

There are so many wonderful and amazing artists working in this ephemeral medium, and my first introduction to it was at a conference I attended last year where the keynote speaker was Jeff Rudell a paper artist who has contributed to Crafty Stylish blog and whose work includes making these beautiful paper wigs for a Tiffany’s window display on 5th Ave.

Another example of his work is this lovely hand written note. One of the key things I took from his lecture was to think outside the box on thank you notes. This speaks volumes, and leaves a lasting impression.

Another artist I admire is Kako Ueda whose gorgeous cutouts are so intricate they are whole little worlds.

Ingrid Siliakus does paper architecture which is creating an object out of a single piece of paper which invokes feelings of M.C. Escher.

Book sculptures by Brian Dettmer are built in such a way that images and words surgically come together to create connections from pages apart. So much thought and planning, truly remarkable.


Mia Pearlman does large scale installations with her paper art creating an experience for the viewer to walk around, through and see in a whole different dimension.

These whimsical and clever ideas by Peter Callesen really make you think of what is possible with a single piece of paper….

The paper sculptures of  Su Blackwell are fantasy landscapes popping out of books to recreate the tales in 3D.

Last, but certainly not least is the Japanese paper artist Hina Aoyama. Such delicate work it reminds me of fine lace.

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