Accordion Books · cut paper · Zoom Workshop

Darling & Jazzy Dancing Paper Dolls

Cut Paper by Sue Reynolds

Just three hours until the next 4pm EST zoom workshop, wanting to write about the last one before it slips into the abyss of last week. I was even more nervous about this presentation than usual, not sure what the reception would be from this talented and brilliant group to the prospect of making paper dolls.

Was delighted that the project was met with open hearts, and ,ooo-la-la, people got into the playful spirit of the the day.

Cut Paper, Lisa Hart

These dolls were inspired by my wonderful memories of working with a truly gifted art teacher, Geraldine Merrill, who worked in a inner city school district that had many challenges. Geraldine broke all the rules, lived outside of the box, and created incredibly rich imagery with kids, including paper dolls, which were embellished in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Susan Joy Share’s cut paper with Crayon rubbings above

The idea here was to let the figures have a sense of movement and allow room for each of the figures to have their own personalities.  Susan Joy Share made these stylish women, strong and wild, with the best hair. Susan has been doing explorations of surface design using rubbings on various materials. Glad she included one of her cover designs in the photo above. Am hoping she uses it with these cut figures.

Developing the wardrobes, Emma Reid

Even though we had just a half-hour together, it was long enough to see different ways people chose to explore their own direction. The wardrobe and accessories of Emma’s girls are enchanting. Notice the pom-pom on the hat, and the knot of the scarf.

Cut paper, Nancy Haarmeyer 

The way that I asked people to design the figures was to first draw a stick figure, then flesh it out by just imagining the lines to be thicker. When the cutting is done, I expect the paper to be flipped over so that the lines don’t show. Above, I’m happy that Nancy Haarmeyer provided me a photo that shows the lines, thus showing the process.

Jazzy figures, Gerry Mcgaunn

Most of the cut-outs seemed to lean toward being girls, which I wonder if that’s because we think of paper dolls as girls, or because it’s generally a female activity. I loved  that Gerry made his paper dolls look decidedly male. It was seeing  his cut-outs that even made me aware of the female leaning of the other pieces.

Girls having fun, Beth DellaRocco

Now here’s a set of playful girls, one that surprised me: I was over at my friend’s Beth house and saw it on her work table. I didn’t know she had been at our paper doll session. I asked her for this photo. I have unilaterally decided that this is an image of her and I at play.

I have mine own to show that I may add in to this post later, but now I need to be thinking about today’s session, where we will be doing something with one well placed pleat.

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cut paper

Cutting Curves by Cutting Straight

One of my favorite lesson with kids is talking to them about how to cut curvy lines.

One of the main reasons I teach this is so that first graders can cut a tracing of their hands to put into books that we make. Ever notice how much a child’s hand grows between first grade and second grade? This offers a student a record of this growth.

Not having a child handy at the moment, I’m making these random shapes.

The secret to cutting beautiful, sinuous curves is to cut in a straight line, moving the paper, not the scissors.

In the video demonstration below, I liken this to driving a car or riding a bicycle: all those curves and turns, but you stay looking straight ahead, turning the wheel, not your body.

This is a short post, to get myself back to posting, which I have missed. Hard to believe, that, now, during pandemic isolation, I am busier than ever, but I am! Still, I don’t want to stray too long from this space, which I love.

Short and sweet video below

cut paper · geometry and paper

It’s Paper Snowflake time again

paper snowflakes

I was debating whether or not to post my snowflake-making pages again. Then today I was over at Heather Bellanca’s book signing event at McCartee’s Barn and …

Celebrating the publication of A Hound’s Holiday, illustrated by my friend Heather Bellanca

…people were cutting all sorts of cool and creative snowflakes. One thing I was hearing, though, was people wanting to make their snowflakes have specific characteristics. Heather pulled up my old Snowflake Cutting  Tips page on her device, which answered some questions. That clinched it for me. Yup, I’d republish this page.

6 snowflake cuts
How to cut snowflake once you’ve folded the paper

I’m happy to post this page again. This snowflake-cutting-tips page has never gotten many views, but I love this because I like understanding how to be deliberate about making my cuts. Sure, the first few flakes of the year, made with random cuts, are thrilling, but then, unless you have some handle on what’s going on, the snowflakes all begin to look the same, so it’s good to have an idea of how to deviate in any way that you want.

how to make a paper snowflake
how to fold paper to make a hexagonal snowflake

Of course you can’t cut a snowflake unless you fold the paper first. My number one contribution to snowflake-making is to encourage people to use paper napkins for their snowflakes, as paper napkins cut easily, are already the right shape (a big square) and are generally plentiful. Oh, and one last tip, Scotch Magic Tape is works the best for sticking these winter creations to the window because the tape peels off of the window most easily when it’s time for the snow to go away.

Happy cutting!

How to make a Snowflake with Six-Sided Symmetry, with 60 degree triangle guide included.