I’d like to introduce you to the work of Judy Carrell, an artist from Indiana who created the amazingly beautiful rooster papercutting piece you see above. Through a conversation with Judy about papercutting and how she got started, I was inspired to try it . . . thinking that I could somehow incorporate Mod Podge into this fabulous art form. I like to incorporate Mod Podge into everything I do, including baking. Just so you know, Mod Podge doesn’t make a good non-stick coating. It’s too gummy!
To give you a little history, papercutting dates back to 6th century China, and since that time there have been several variations within several cultures. One of the most popular is Polish papercutting, also known as Wycinanki. German papercutting, or Scherenschnitte, is another popular type. This is the type that inspired Judy, a retired-German-teacher-turned-crafter. Interestingly enough, she began papercutting when the sun ruined a piece that her husband had received as a gift. She thought it was a shame that it had been bleached, so she grabbed some gummed-back paper she had gotten from Germany and (with some little scissors) went to Re-creationville. Since that time she’s created a wide variety of pieces, ranging from flowers to birds to other nature items. Check out the intricate detail of her rooster piece:
All of the papercuts that Judy does are simply gorgeous and inspiring! During my conversation with her, I asked if she could share a few tips with me. Here’s what she said:
-First timers (like myself) should probably try copying something to practice. Judy also looks at the world around her to get inspired (she’s even used postage stamps), and doodles to create backgrounds. I’ll get there eventually!
-Carbon paper is great for tracing designs to paper and then cutting out. She also uses regular typing paper to create templates.
-She uses everyday items for templates, ranging from a dime to a pizza pan. Brilliant!
-For detailed pieces like the above, keep organized with labeling and envelopes. I particularly liked this tip because my usual route would be to spread the pieces around the coffee table and then watch them fly when the ceiling fan goes on. I get hot when I’m crafting!
Following Judy’s advice to a tee, I decided to copy something to practice for my first try. I grabbed a sheet of owl scrapbooking paper and enlarged Mr. Blue Owl on the copier. I made two black and white copies. With some blue scraps of cardstock, one light and one dark, I used the template to cut out the larger dark blue body and the smaller light blue overlay. I even cut out some feathers with my craft knife. The eyes, feet and beak were easy – also done with scissors and scraps of cardstock. A little paint + Mod Podge + papercuts + me = the following:
Okay bloggers, now I want to hear what you think. Anyone tried papercutting? Do you love it? Do you have any tips? Ever used it with Mod Podge? Please share with me! I’d love to see what you’ve done and hear your opinions as I begin my foray into the world of papercutting.