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Wednesday, 20 April 2016 15:43

Taking paper art beyond origami

Written by Brendan Ihmig

As a child I loved creating things and modeling with paper and card. I thoroughly enjoyed cut-outs and making pop-up cards and while I never studied origami, I would often take a piece of paper and try to fashion it into a recognizable object. Taking a piece of paper and folding, cutting, rolling, gluing, tearing and embossing it until it becomes so much more than just a flat, formless sheet of paper is not only creatively satisfying, but also very relaxing.

I never considered it an art form and without the exposure to the vast array of paper art being created, what I did was nothing more than just a way to pass time. I recently discovered some incredible paper art and artists and, I think you will agree, their work is spectacular and most certainly takes paper art way beyond origami.

Scherenschnitte with Maude White

Scherenschnitte is a traditional paper art style founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 16th century. 'Scherenschnitte' means "scissor cuts" in German. It is a craft art form that has the artist creating very detailed art from a single sheet of paper by making hundreds and even thousands of small precise cuts and cut-outs that are seen once the final work is placed on a contrasting background. Traditionally Scherenschnitte art works depict alpine landscapes, rural houses with livestock and pets or detailed symmetrical pasterns which often would have a floral design element.

Maude White is a prolific cut paper artist from the USA who has a unique, modern take on traditional Scherenschnitte. Her passion for macro and micro cutting and use of positive and negative spaces in her work produces some of the most spectacular paper works of art. Her work includes portraits, floral designs and birds. Here are some of her works.

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For more information visit her website:


Quilling with Yulia Brodskaya

Quilling is a paper art which uses narrow strips of paper which have been coiled, folded and shaped to from anything from basic geometrical patterns to highly detailed 3D images. While dating back to the Renaissance and even being a popular pass time in the 18th and 19th century, it is only in more recent years that it has gain in popularity.

One of the most talented and recognised quilling artist is Yulia Brodskaya. Her vibrant and detailed artworks have been featured by brands like Nokia, Starbucks, Cadbury, Bentley and Hennessy and original artworks are owned by numerous private collectors including Oprah Winfrey.

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For more information visit her website:


Kirigami with Marc Hagan-Guirey

Kirigami is very similar to traditional origami (which uses only the folding of paper to for artworks). In kirigami the artists fold and cut paper to reveal the art. While also similar to pop-up paper art, kirigami uses a single sheet of paper whereas pop-ups can be created using several pieces of paper. Kirigami can be seen in everything from greeting cards to business cards and from retail window displays to national art exhibitions.

On of the most talented kirigami artists is Marc Hagan-Guirey, a London based paper artist. Marc's career in paper art was catapulted by his personal project called "Horrorgami". Since that exhibition in 2012 he has continued to continued working on kirigami commissions for both commercial and private clients. He has created artworks for The London Transport Museum, Samsung, Procter & Gamble and Decorex International.

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For more information visit his website:

 For more information visit her website:


 These These are just three examples of great paper art by very talented artists. Let me know in the comments below which paper art form you love the most and which artist's work you admire the most.

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