The rise of papercraft

The rise of paper cut illustration in recent years has been unprecedented; there has been a real demand for the craft both commercially and as art pieces.

Paper Cut

For the unacquainted, paper cut or papercraft illustration is a meticulous and painstaking process that sees illustrators turn 2D illustrations into 3D sculptures.

Le Creative Sweatshop, Rinascente - part of a series of window displays created for Palermo
Le Creative Sweatshop, Rinascente – part of a series of window displays created for Palermo

As Paper Cut: An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft and Illustration shows these can either be simple and effective or staggeringly complex pieces.

Stuart McLachlan, Aurora's Night - a paper dreadnaught inspired by the relationship between machines and the people of Communist Russia
Stuart McLachlan, Aurora’s Night – a paper dreadnaught inspired by the relationship between machines and the people of Communist Russia

The book has been written by Owen Gildersleeve, himself a designer and papercraft illustration specialist.

Rob Ryan, I Can't Forget
Rob Ryan, I Can’t Forget

Gildersleeve spotlights the work of 30 illustrators and while there are familiar faces like Rob Ryan’s there are also many you won’t know.

Hattie Newman, set design for French GQ magazine
Hattie Newman, set design for French GQ magazine

Ideas, inspirations and processes are laid bare and accompanied by full colour photographs, while the book itself – which has been designed by Gildersleeve and Chris Clarke – has been printed on several different paper stocks.

Paper Cut is written by Owen Gildersleeve, published by Rockport and priced £20

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