I arrived at my studio on Saturday morning, wanting to make something large and filled with different kinds of leaves and stems. In the back of my mind was this sketch by Arounna, and this ink drawing by Etsy seller, Karen Gathany.
After looking at lots of flowers and plants in my books and magazines, I drew a 45 x 45cm composition of botanical specimens onto some thin white paper, and stuck it to black paper with a couple of pieces of sticky tape.
Then I started to cut.
I use steeply-pointed NT cutter blades in a rather wonky craft knife. I really should get a proper NT cutter because it’s much more stable.
Step 2 Now it’s just about putting on some music and putting in the hours. I slice through both layers of paper, cutting on either side of the lines I’ve drawn, removing the white paper so I can see where I’ve cut. I tend to make lots of decisions and changes as I go.
Change the CD again, shake out your fingers, and keep on cutting…
I like this part – I slough off the white paper guide, which remains largely intact, but very frail.
This part takes the longest, and I have to be so careful. Most of my cuts have not been close enough to a neighbouring cut, so now I carefully make release cuts to remove the negative spaces. The more negative space I remove, the more delicate everything becomes.
Finally! I finished without tearing anything or slicing anything off mistakenly.
Now I hang out the nearly-finished cutout on my line so I can look at it and decide what’s next. Mostly, I’m happy with this cutout, but some areas seem a little congested and could do with some pruning, which I’ll get onto today.