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Jessica Palmer studied Illustration at Kingston University. One day, in a life drawing class, an innovative tutor took the charcoal out of her hand, gave her a pair of scissors and said, 'Cut it out!' Her passion for papercutting was born. Her love of detail led her on to using a scalpel to 'draw', as with a pen or pencil. She is now a visiting artist in galleries and museums in London, Bath and Bristol, including the V & A and the National Portrait Gallery. She runs papercutting events linked to exhibitions, and she exhibits in London and the west of England. She has produced commissions, exhibition pieces and book illustrations in the US.
July 2015 If any book can persuade you to take up the art of papercutting, or improve on your existing skills, it has to be this one. You could simply enjoy looking at Jessica's fabulous work or you can actually learn how to do it yourself. With a short history of papercutting, an extensive how-to, materials and basics, the book moves on to techniques. It is illustrated throughout with amazing work. It concentrates on silhouettes; landscapes and cityscapes; fashion; book illustration; still life; animals; text; life drawing; shadow painting and 3D. There are twelve templates too. * Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts * I like other crafts apart from sewing. I'm a fan of papercutting, it's more appreciation and enjoyment of others' artistry rather than producing papercut artwork of my own. My husband makes me papercut cards. He's not a particularly artsy person, but we both love papercut art, especially those with a dark, fairy tale aesthetic. Search Press sent me a list of their latest art and craft titles up for review and rather than the usual quilting books, the cover of Jessica Palmer's The Art of Papercutting caught my eye. You may recognise her name and style from the hugely popular Tangle Wood, a deluxe colouring book printed on beautiful quality paper. Her papercutting aesthetic is slightly different; I can see lots of European art traditions influencing her work and I especially like her use of colour in amongst all the black and white. I handed this book first to my husband as he has done a lot more papercutting than me and we ended up going through it together. We both agreed it is a practical book, packed full of amazing inspiration and papercutting eye candy but with easily accessible text and instructions. Jessica encourages you to get started, find inspiration and sketch your idea. She lists easy-to-find equipment, no frills. After a little digging around, I found I had all the materials I needed in the house and I use sewing carbon paper to transfer my design. Around a third of the book is history, techniques and papercutting genres, the rest is about art in paper and shows examples of different papercutting art from book covers to life drawing and includes additional techniques and information with it. The 'Cutting with a Knife' section in the first part of the book has concise text and large photographs so you can see each step of the process in detail. There are practical tips sprinkled throughout the how-to sections and I picked up some useful ideas like wrapping the end of the knife in masking tape so the blade doesn't dig into your fingers! The iris design on these pages is one of the templates included at the end of the book. Jessica's artwork is jaw-droppingly good. She's bold and exploits the contrast of colour that can be easily created with solid paper as well as the fragility of the form. I love the variety of artwork that she's included in her selection, it's a pleasure to browse through. The templates at the end can be seen in their finished art work form elsewhere in the book. I'm not sure they were totally necessary, they seem like a bit of an extra addition but if you want a starting point they can be traced or scanned for you won use. The text says they are of 'increasing complexity' although that is not reflected in the order they appear- that seems very mixed up! The Iris design below is relatively straightforward but the Fern papercut next to it is a real challenge! For the full review and images: http://verykerryberry.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/the-art-of-papercutting-by-jessica.html * VeryKerryBerry * September 2015 Jessica Palmer produces the most exquisite papercuts, an art that has a history dating back to when the Chinese first produced paper in 105 AD. It gained popularity as a folk tradition because the materials were simple and obtainable, paper, a knife or scissors. Its popularity reached its heigh in the 18th and 19th Century and refined as fine art by Matisse. Now Jessica Palmer takes her art further into installation, illustration, collages even fashion and jewellery. In the Art of Papercutting a beautifully illustrated boo, she tells us how to see the world through positive and negative shapes; how to find out own inspiration, the basic materials we need and the various techniques used. It is rare to find someone so eager to share her own art form in such detail and with so much enthusiasm. A joy and an inspiration and worth every penny. * Yorkshire Gazette & Herald * August 2015 Here are dozens of beautiful, inspiring papercuts. We learn how to separate the visual world into positive and negative shapes and design images with pattern, texture and impact. There are insights into an inspiring selection of artworks including life drawing, silhouettes, portraits, fashion images and illustrations and landscapes. Twelve templates are provided plus step-by-step techniques, tips and safety advice. * Machine Knitting Monthly * July 2015 Be your own die cutting machine and decorate cards, albums and more with your own papercuts. This ancient craft is enjoying a revival, and if you need an excuse to pick up a knife and get cutting, this book might just be it. Part instruction manual and part art book, this is going to be a talking point when it is on your coffee table, as well as something to delve into for inspiration. There is a lot of that in here: lots of illustrations of the work the author has done to get the creative juices flowing. You can also find out what you need to obtain to get started (not much, this is a very cheap hobby) and how it is done. Some of the advice involves how to look at things like a papercutter, and where to look for ideas, for the actual cutting part is mostly about doing it rather than reading how to do it. At the back of the book are twelve templates, mostly of nature and a couple of faces, as well as a project involving tracing a real object in order to cut it out (a seahorse). The bulk of the book is a look at the artist's own work, and that of her students, which shows just what can be achieved with practice and some innate talent. If you are hoping for more step-by-step projects than a couple, this is maybe not the best book, and I think those who will get the most out of it are those with an art rather than a craft background (hence the title), but then papercutting is as much an art as a craft. * Myshelf.com * This guide explores the somewhat esoteric art medium of papercutting. Palmer, who is an expert in this technique, suggests that images made via this hand-cut means can act as a welcome counterpoint to the over-perfection often evident in digital images. A brief overview, including a bit of history, is provided. Palmer then supplies an initial detailed step-by-step explanation of her technique. This is followed by many examples of finished cut paper artwork that the reader can practice executing. Templates that may be scanned or photocopied for use in readers' projects are handily provided at the back of the book. Cut paper artwork may be black-and-white only, incorporate limited color, or use many layers to produce full-color images. Most of the work shown is two-dimensional, but a few examples of sculptural work are included as well. -VERDICT Intermediate and advanced artists in search of a fresh technique will find this guide challenging and absorbing. * Crafter's Corner * November 2015 Papercutting is a fairly new idea to me, but I was amazed by its creative potential when I received a copy of Jessica Palmer's Art of Papercutting. Jessica studied illustration at Kingston University and explains how the scapel became her drawing tool when an innovative tutor asked her to cut out what she saw rather than use the charcoal she was holding. Here she explains how to see the world through a paper cutter's eyes. It's all about seeing the positive and negative shapes in your subject, so the experience will stand you in good stead if you wish to improve your drawing skills. There is plenty of step-by-step instruction, tips and safety advice, inspiring ideas, as well as 12 templates provided so you can get straight on with having a go yourself. * The Leisure Painter * Jessica Palmer's The Art of Papercutting is an excellent mix of the practical and the inspirational, which delivers on its inviting cover line, "Learn how to see the world with a papercutter's eyes." Jessica Palmer is a successful artist who illustrates in paper. Papercutting is her medium, and her book generously shares her technical and inspirational secrets. This is not a project book - although there are 12 templates back-of-book. It is a how-to book - thinking in positive/negative, the importance of pattern, connecting links, sourcing designs, plus many invaluable tips (for example: if cutting text, a photocopy is easier to cut than an actual book page). The book is a gallery of inspiration, featuring the fantastic, Beardsley-like intricate arabesque designs of the author. The author's wearable paperart collars are very special indeed. Even if you are into digital papercrafting, there is much to be gained from this book. Just as abstract artists can do representational drawing, learning about papercutting by hand can up your digital design skills. Learning about how to generate papercut designs is a shared skill. * The Papercraft Post Blog * This guide explores the somewhat esoteric art medium of papercutting. Palmer, who is an expert in this technique, suggests that images made via this hand-cut means can act as a welcome counterpoint to the over-perfection often evident in digital images. A brief overview, including a bit of history, is provided. Palmer then supplies an initial detailed step-by-step explanation of her technique. This is followed by many examples of finished cut paper artwork that the reader can practice executing. Templates that may be scanned or photocopied for use in readers' projects are handily provided at the back of the book. Cut paper artwork may be black-and-white only, incorporate limited color, or use many layers to produce full-color images. Most of the work shown is two-dimensional, but a few examples of sculptural work are included as well. -VERDICT Intermediate and advanced artists in search of a fresh technique will find this guide challenging and absorbing. * Library Journal USA *