Questions from Kristin Reiber Harris, Artist and Educator, Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, VA, USA

1.  It appears you are using a paper template to cut through with the rice paper underneath the template.  Is that correct?  Are these computer generated? Some of the geometric patterns looked like they were.

Yes and yes. I create digital templates and use them as visual and positioning guide when I cut. However, it is not straight forward tracing because the template images are mostly photographic. When I cut, I translate these photographs (continuous shades) into cutout patterns (solid and void) and a lot of times I leave areas blank to make the studio time interesting and spontaneous. But it does lengthen the time to produce and complete a piece.

2.  Have you found a self healing pad that is large enough for some of your large pieces…or is there some other surface that you cut on for your large work?

My cutting mat is 35×47 inches. If I make a larger work, I can use more mats but it is inconvenient. Sometimes I do wish that they make custom size self-healing pad so it completely covers my work table. 

3.  I am confused about the silk.  I am getting the impression that the paper is glued to the silk to make it stronger?  Am I confused about that? I see silk referenced in your materials but not exactly how it is being used.

You are correct. The silk is mounted on the back of the rice paper to add strength to the work. I do this mainly for people who handle my work. It’s a traditional Chinese wet mounting technique when the paper and silk are glued together by hand. It requires a mounting master to do a good job. I have the paper made this way in Hong Kong.

4.  How are the cut paper pieces stiff enough to hang?  Like the geometric pieces that are behind you in the video.

Occasionally, I need someone to help holding a piece in place if it’s large. But usually I am able to pin them up myself. 

“Push Paper” – A New Book Featuring My Cut Paper Works

Got a heavy box today and in it came with five copies of Push Paper, a new book by Jaime Zollars. It’s a very well-designed, hard cover book featuring 30 contemporary paper artists with text.

Over six pages, Jaime selected my “Atomic Jellyfish,” “Little Crimes I,” “Rescue Mission,” The Butterfly Gown III, “Beach Ball Blast,” and “The Bird That Thinks It’s A Plane.” Click to see larger images.

Push Paper, hard cover, Lark Books, 2011

Push Paper, p.44-45

Push Paper, p. 46-47

Push Paper, p.48-49

Among the thirty artists in this beautiful book are some familiar names, such as Peter Callesen, Jen Stark, Mia Pearlman, Andrea Dezso, Chris Natrop, and many more. Published by Lark: New York, New York, 2011.