wedding guest book: revamped

IMG_3800 i love the idea of a wedding guest book; a timeless record of all the people you've loved and cherished enough to invite and spend $70 a plate on at your momentous wedding day. a space for everyone, the young, the old, those just walking in, and those a little less sober than when they walked in, to write pages upon pages of just how happy they are for you on this next chapter of your life with your partner. theoretically, it's lovely. in reality, what actually happens to it? maybe you read it once - maybe once a year on your anniversary - maybe one third of the pages are filled, maybe no one managed to spill wine all over it at one point in the night. regardless, it's usually put away after the big day, with the photos of the wedding taking precedent as the day's record.

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but, what if there was a different way to keep track of your loved ones in attendance? and then, instead of putting it away, it's displayed, framed, hung for all to see and marvel at? well, a dear friend and former coworker of mine commissioned me to make such a piece for her this past week, and i'm delighted to share it with you.

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modeled after a snapshot she sent of another guest book she'd seen, this is a print with a cutout vw bug, and lots and lots of little 3d balloons for guests to write their names on. afterwards, whitney and scott can frame this and hang it up; a gorgeous reminder of the love they shared together, and with their family and friends! congratulations whitney and scott!

canopy

after one and a half weeks of frantic designing, printing, cutting while kneeled and hunched over on the floor (oh my back!), i finally, with the help of my dear roommate) put up my final project for my installation class this semester.  and it just so happened that we installed on the one, repeat: one, beautiful, sunny day that chicago's seen in the past month really.  it was truly a blessing, and it made the papercut installation sing with clarity, brilliance and full out shine.

i am now completely obsessed with cut paper projects, and will be experimenting with other materials as well, maybe forming language out of wire, or different forms of pellon, or really, whatever i can get my hands on.  thank you so much to everyone who's helped support me mentally and emotionally in this project - it really, the whole thing, has made me so happy.  and now i'm equally happy that it's done.

and in case you're interested, here's the text of the piece:

she does not see far.  the wind twists itself around and about her limbs, sends her hair into a fury, but she doesn't see far./she doesn't hear long.  the sounds of rays that creep within the cracks of her skin make no impression on her eardrums./she tries to follow the feel.  she touches the ends of things, gropes for a hanging-on of connection.  the mouth she has./she lets it all in, and washes it all out.  welcomes it in, and stands helpless as it all passes through.

toasting the lovely ms. buryk

so, a brief interlude here while i mention that this past wednesday was my dear roommate  (and talented photographer - check out her websitelexi b.'s birthday.  this wonderful lady has made my stay so far in chicago incredibly fun, adventurous and, most importantly, filled with the most amazing and quite tasty dinners and parties.  obviously i had to embellish her birthday card with my new papercutting obsession...

love and good cheer for another year!

follow the lines

some process photos that i promised - here's the first two panels of large-scale papercuts for my third installation. pre-cutting, here's what the scrolls of paper look like with the designs printed on them:

starting to cut:

the completed first panel:

and here's the final cutout of the second:

i'll just go ahead and let the pictures speak for themselves.  more to come!

and a cut here, and a cut there

so.  for my third installation project, i'm working with text.  oh.  i suppose that's been my game all along, hasn't it?  this time, however, i'm working with it as a 3d material.  you all know from one of my last posts that i'm slightly obsessed with papercutting, paper crafting, paper everything.  i decided to try my own hand at cut paper, so i went out to my local utrecht (thank you 10% student discount), purchased a swivel x-acto knife and fancy cutting board, grabbed a roll of white easel paper and headed on home to my kitchen table work space.

this will be super easy, right?  i so naively thought to myself.  after my first few tries and the first few pangs of a cramped hand, however, i started to get a good rhythm.  and then it just started to click.  and then it started to look gorgeous.  i mean, i don't mean to toot my own horn, but the result is just fascinating - the paper ends up looking/feeling like lace, and the shadows that the lines create are lovely, ephemeral, delicate.  it's the shadows that i'm after, actually, in the final piece, but really, i couldn't have been more pleased with the visual in general.

the only thing that slightly irks me is the presence of the graphite on the paper.  i could not for the life of me figure out how i could cut out my writing without a guide right there on the paper (if i had a light table, it might be a different story).  does anyone have suggestions for the future?  fortunately, since the actual installation piece will be much larger and i just so happen to go to a pretty sweet art school, there are tools/machines like fancy laser and plotter cutters that will cut the shapes out for me, so i won't have to worry about the graphite on the final piece.  but in the meantime, with x-acto in hand, i'd like to come up with a way of getting this desired effect without the guide... and i have a feeling that erasing it post-cutting would just tear the thing into pieces.

i also love what happens to these discarded pieces of the papercut - they're so sweet, like tiny waves floating suspended on their own.  i'll continue sharing the stages to this final project, and i hope you enjoy the process as much as i do!

so you'd like to be added to my library, would you?

in case you're not as obsessed as i am with chronicle books (and being from the world of publishing, believe me, this obsession has been spanning years at this point), brace yourself, because you are about to be.  ok ok, i realize that not everyone is super interested in paper, or crafting, or learning how to make out-of-this-world landscapes using only a blank sheet of printer paper and an x-acto knife, but after looking, peeking into these two books, i believe that even the biggest skeptic can be converted.

both paper + craft (out now!) and paper cutting (available for pre-order only) are gorgeously designed books, with inspirational art (high art, mind you - expensive materials be damned), templates and helpful how-tos.  you too can become a paper artist!  or, at least, find some justification in all those little piles of randomly folded or cut or doodled on pieces of notebook paper slowly taking up space on your kitchen counter.  or, even further, have something to hold out as proof to your parents that perhaps art school wasn't such a flippant idea after all!

 

regardless, they're both gorgeous.  with gorgeous collaborators behind each of them.  designed by gorgeous people.  at a gorgeous publishing house.  in gorgeous san francisco.  did i mention it snowed in chicago yesterday?  well, with these two shiny and new bundles of bound paper to look at in the meantime, i'm sure spring will pull its head from the sand and show its face soon enough.

also i just wanted to put it out there that my own bookcase is at this current moment sorely lacking in these two specific titles, and it could really use some help in filling those gaps.

 

{images found via gorgeous papercut artist elsita and chronicle books}