Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Paper arts


I would hazard a guess that if I had asked to to guess what my next book would look like you would have come up with this one. You may recognize the image from my last post. It’s a view of the mountains on the other side of the Rhone valley, taken from the piste during one of our walks at Crans Montana. I remember taking this shot very well, as we had stopped to catch our breaths after walking up a particularly steep bit of piste. Nick had marched ahead and stopped for the rest of the party to catch up, I was second and had time to take some photographs before the others arrived. The trouble with being last to arrive was that Nick set off again as soon as the stragglers caught up, so I worked out that it paid to be at the front – harder work but longer rests :-)

I have always been interested in paper art. When I was studying calligraphy, I was always keen to find other ways of using paper to enhance the lettering – playing with the paper by cutting and mixing different types of paper. I’ve already posted some of my efforts last year but I’ll show you some examples again to show you what I mean.


I have a fantastic book called ‘The Elements of Pop-Up’ by David A. Carter and James Diaz which is a wonderful book for aspiring paper engineers which not only demonstrates the different effects but explains how to achieve them.


I was reminded of this book by several things I found on the web yesterday. The first was a web site called Centripetal Notion featuring work by Brian Dettmer who produces amazing art by sculpting old books with quite astonishing results.


This reminded me of the work of Peter Callesen which is intricate and elegant but with an underlying humour.


My other favorite paper artist is Jen Stark. Her use of colour and the precision involved in producing her art is spectacular.


Next the work of Annie Vought, who painstakingly cuts around text to create art works which are ethereal and create a wonderful interplay between the text and the shadows. These are based on ‘to do’ lists and a page from an exercise book.


And finally, a wonderful pop-up book called ABC3D by Marion Bataille. It will be available to buy on Amazon in October.

I stand back in awe, at these paper artists’ skill. Amazing.


15 responses to “Paper arts

  1. strugglingwriter March 28, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    “paper engineer” – I like that term. I wish I had skills in that area.

    That ABC3D book looks amazing and I love those sculptures in old books. Actually, I like everything in this post. Surprising, huh :)

  2. Creechman March 28, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Astonishing artists. Hazarding paper engineering. Centripetal Notions.

    Peter was great. Jen was great. Annie was great. Marion on YouTube.

    Oh thank you for fulfilling my right brain quotient all through weekend.

  3. AmyH March 28, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Ooh, I’d never seen Peter Callesen’s work before. I love it! I’ll have to spend some time on his website later on today. The ABC3D book is really great, too. I wish I had an M for one of my initials so that I could get the book and display it opened to M. It was my favorite letter.

    Great book yourself. I still want to buy the printable bookcloth and give it a try. Your books always make that desire a little stronger!

  4. Diane March 28, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Paul – I like ‘paper engineer’ too! I’m dying to see the ABC3D book too, so clever. Glad you enjoyed this post :-)

    Creechman – my pleasure. One does one’s best :-)

    AmyH – I rather liked the ‘S’. Oh and the ‘V,W,X and Y’ in fact the whole book was amazingly clever :-)
    You should go for the book cloth – it’s such fun to use.

  5. Teresa March 28, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    I am speechless at the amazing works of art (the only one I’ve seen previously is the skeleton thinker by Calleson). I’m left scratching my head and saying, “how the heck did they do that?!”

    Your paper art is really lovely, as is the new book (if I didn’t have the current snow aversion…LOL!). The Weave quote is especially poignant. The kids and I learned acrostics in our poetry unit…it is so much fun to write!

  6. Diane March 29, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Teresa – they are amazing aren’t they? That’s why I showed you my feeble efforts first and then went on to the best last!

    I love the Acrostic poem by Roger McGough. In fact I like all of Roger McGough’s poetry. He is so funny and even though a lot of them are for children, they can still be appreciated by adults as they are so clever.

    Hope your snow has gone/is going. It is wet and windy here. Again.

  7. laketrees March 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

    the photo on your book is gorgeous Diane !!
    I love your paper art ….lovely quote on the weave paper…

    my favourite is the flowers by Peter Callesen…very clever :)
    incredible showcase of extraordinary artworks

    typing here in the dark…as it’s our earth hour here now :)
    8:15pm at night… lol

  8. Tom March 29, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    the skeleton one is extremely interesting. there are some talented people out there!

  9. Diane March 29, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Kim – Glad you like my stuff – it seems pretty tame compared with the real paper artists but I enjoyed making it :-)
    Good for you doing your bit for the earth, I must work out when I’m supposed to do it too…..

    Tom – there sure are, it’s quite inspiring – and awe inspiring :-)

  10. Susan from UK web developers March 31, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Lovely pieces of art :-) Especially I liked that 10-th picture with flowers, it is really good. But I liked that ABC3D too. When my children will learn the alphabet, we could make such thing too, so they can better remember it

  11. nursemyra March 31, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I’ve seen and admired Peter’s wonderful work before but Jen Stark is new to me. very talented.

  12. Diane March 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Susan – I love that one too. I also love the ABC3D book, I am definitely buying one when it is published in October!

    NurseM – I love Jen Stark’s work – such a simple idea but very difficult to accomplish I’m sure :-)

  13. jon March 31, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    The skeleton pondering the human form is a classic. :) I love it. :)

  14. Diane March 31, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    ..and I am loving your new photography blog! The black and white shots especially are quite beautiful :-)

  15. Hospedagem September 18, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    I have wanted this book for a long time but when it was released it was just a little to expensive so I put it off and ended up forgetting.
    A week ago I found this book at Target. so YAH! lol

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