Jun 24, 2015

Creative Appetite Post: Papercutter Pro

I gobbled up so much creative goodness out there this year as part of the E17 Art Trail 2015 that I've had to take some time to digest it all! Here's my deluge of delights that I was lucky enough to dip into. Starting with a wonderful woman who introduced me to so much, including yummy German treats!

On entering Katja Rosenberg’s hidden den of creativity I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. I had signed up to the family paper cutting workshop led by Caroline Misselbrook from Daff Workshops and curated by the wonderfully madcap Katja. Both ladies were immediately warm and welcoming and I felt right at home. All the little touches were there: biscuits on the table and being handed a delightfully quirky cat mug of herbal tea.
Katja and the curious cat cup
Caroline's welcoming smile in the word haven
Katja has transformed her Pretoria Avenue flat into a treasure box of favourite word trinkets. To do it justice, I’ll dedicate a separate post to the wonder of her Favourite words exhibition.

Caroline, like myself, isn’t currently a Walthamstow-dweller, I was intriguingly informed she and Katja met through a chance encounter on board a boat. Caroline too was drawn to welcoming Walthamstow.

She had two sessions that evening and another the next day. The first session was for families, where to be safety conscious, she had adapted the workshop by using scissors to create images and a final collage of a word. The evening was the adult session with more intricate and detailed work using sharper implements.
"Grow" collage style for the little ones & finer detailed work for the adult classes
Starting our workshop
To try to cover both, before the children arrived, I was let loose with adults-only implements of a scalpel and cutting mat. I was also given some photos of paper cutting work as inspiration, including the great Rob Ryan.

I must say it was very therapeutic being so absorbed, one small slip and your carefully constructed card work could be in shreds!

Engrossed in the detail with a naughty Katja in the background
I learned my biggest lesson quite soon on. Caroline recommended to cut in reverse and even reminded me how to use tracing paper old-school style. By working in reverse you cut from the back to make the front tidier. The key thing I forgot to note was to think about which side to cut on if you are using paper only coloured on one side. Having happily created a design and starting to cut into it, I then realised the bright orange I was aiming for was the back and I was creating a white frontage. Not to worry, Caroline came to the rescue showing some techniques to integrate colour in different sections instead and rescue my piece.

I loved the experience and was pleased as punch when Katja said she would like to include my piece for sale in her travelling Favourite Words exhibition! Hoping it sells, that’s ‘professional paper cutting artist’ I can add to my résumé!
Oh so casual prior to being told I had a professional product in my hands!
My work to join Katja's Favourite Words exhibition at All You Read is Love, Leytonstone Art Trail
Mid way through one lady departed leaving her “languid” artwork to rest, and a family joined who added in a “cucumber” cloud (to match his cucumber clock and cucumber word art from earlier), a mother pining for holidays and an abstract “guitar”. All very different and creative, and most of all great fun!
Languid in the style of the word
Eric seemed fascinated by the word cucumber, making the letters out of little cucumbers was a stroke of greatness!
The matching cucumber clock
Great abstract guitar favourite word
A Mum's favourite word - I wonder why! :)
At the end we were all invited to add a word onto Katja's floor.
They go hand in hand
My words of "etiquette" and "epiphany" were added
The most common feedback was about sore fingers, new skills and my favourite was:
“I will talk of cucumbers and clocks, of schizophrenia and custard, sticking and cutting, biscuits and buns and lots of fun...”
Find out more about Katja’s work at Art Catcher and Caroline's Daff workshops.

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