Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Tag Archives: Peter Callesen

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.