January 21st, 2006

Yellow head

More About Paper Sculptures

Not got very far with my own website, but I have taken full advantage of the Flickr site to showcase, not only photos, but illustrations and sculptures.

I developed this paper sculpture technique when I was at art school, after noticing, when making collages, how the images would begin to acquire a 3D depth after a few layers of paper. I took the idea and ran with it as far as it would go.

Take one strip of paper, fold it twice to make a tiny bridge, and then glue it to a base. Glue numerous companion bridges alongside the first bent strip of paper, and then (and this is the tricky bit), glue paper bridges on top of the first layer of bent paper. Repeat until you go mad. You'll find that the sculptures tend to dictate their own shapes. These structures may look frail, but they are in fact amazingly durable. I've had some of these paper sculptures knocking around, un-boxed, for twenty years, and all that's happened to them is that they've got a bit dusty (once I found a spider living in one).

I haven't done much of this kind of work for a very long time, but I'm now thinking of building new sculptures. The sharp-eyed amongst you may have noted some similarity between the paper sculptures and many of my illustrations. An architectural theme runs though much of my work. This is something I'd like to expand further. I was always a bit sniffy in the past about making the sculptures look like anything. I preferred them to be abstract and only suggest things rather than illustrate. But now I'm thinking I could use some of these techniques to actually build tiny 3D environments, with their own people, cars, buildings, steps and windows.

Insane, but it could be done. Now if only I had the time.