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Editorial blog

Meet the papercraft perfectionists who are influential masters of the art

13 Jul 2018

Angela Sara West chats with papercraft perfectionists who are influential masters of the art, about trends and their awe-inspiring affinity with all things paper. Scissors at the ready for some serious papercraft project inspiration!

With its versatility lending itself to a variety of techniques, the humble piece of paper is the most widely-used material in arts and crafts, the possibility of creation with it seemingly infinite. Cardmaking, origami, sculptures, scrapbooking… even clothing, papercraft encompasses a whole host of artistic processes, from effective simplicity to the virtually impossible, and while there are those who still practise age-old traditional methods, others are breaking boundaries and taking the ubiquitous craft to a whole new level.

The crafty beggars - Julie Peasgood & Wendy Turner-Webster

Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner-Webster, aka The Crafty Beggars, are muchloved craft TV presenters who work with ICHF as ambassadors for The Creative Craft Shows and have a double-page spread in Crafts Beautiful magazine.

Serving up something special for our screens this summer, their new eponymous TV series kicks off on July 16 with a brand new set on a brand new channel - Together TV! The creative twosome are also developing a new TV format for a Crafty Beggars spin-off next year.

At the beginning of the year, when we talked to them about emerging craft trends, the Surrey-based sidekicks were ‘dying’ to divulge their prediction that papercraft staple, die-cutting, would be used much more for home décor projects in 2018… And the crafty TV partners were, of course, spot on! The dynamic duo continue to develop their own range imaginative range of keepsake boxes in the form of ‘crafty cottages’ dies, which have been enjoy sell-out success. “Dies aren’t just for cardmaking, and we’re expanding the possibilities which 3D die creations offer. We’re continuing to develop our Crafty Beggars range, concentrating on dies, but using that medium to expand into other related areas,” says Wendy.

Facebook: 6,000+
Twitter: 2,500

Frank Nicholls, Managing director, Tache Crafts

Poole-based publishers, Tache Crafts, hit the headlines last year after Adele bought up the ENTIRE stock of their ‘Hello, it’s me…’ design featuring her image from John Lewis’ Peter Jones store!

What started as a quirky story in The Sun, very quickly sparked a media frenzy, with the story running in numerous online publications including The Daily Mail, Hello! and The Metro… it even got a mention on Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show, putting Tache’s ‘Famous Faces’ range firmly on the greeting cards map.

Tache was born when Frank presented partner, Pennie, with his first handmade card in 2013. The creation and exchange of a simplistic, bespoke card inspired the couple to turn Frank’s romantic gesture into a full-time business. The venture has rapidly grown into a thriving company, with their creations now selling through some of the world’s most prestigious, well-known and respected retailers including Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Liberty of London, John Lewis, Paperchase, Oliver Bonas and ASOS.

All Tache Crafts cards in the Krafty range come with a matching patterned envelope and envelope seal – a modern twist on the old-fashioned wax seals which support the traditional ethos of the company with a modern stamp. With the tropical theme currently trending in the greeting card world, Tache has a new Glitter Krafty range, featuring a few tropical animals and envelopes.

And the team enjoyed another celebrity endorsement when their Lionel Richie ‘You had me at HELLO…’ card hit just the right note for him, too. Lionel loved it so much that he personally Tweeted and Facebooked it to his millions of followers, wishing everyone a “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Sarah Hamilton – Sarah Hamilton Prints & Just a Card Campaign

South London-based artist/designer/author, Sarah Hamilton is known for her contemporary, colourful and bold style. Her joyful contemporary work is inspired by colour, nature and mid-century design and is stocked by many independent retailers and galleries, in the UK and overseas, and is often featured in the press and books.

Having begun her career as an artist, handprinting greetings cards for Paperchase, The Conran Shop and Designers Guild, cards kickstarted her career. “I see them as breadcrumbs leading to my work and I adore making them. Their continued popularity is wonderful, and I’m often told people collect and frame them.”

These days Sarah presides over a busy London studio making a range of artwork and homewares. She’s also been a guest speaker at Crafty Fox Market events, The Design Trust and Mollie Makes awards.

As a passionate champion of independent businesses, artists and designers, Sarah instigated the ‘Just a Card’ campaign in 2014 to encourage people to support designer/ makers and independent galleries and shops.

Just a Card has 23.5k Instagram followers and 13.7k Twitter followers. 2000 Just a Card shop window stickers have been sent out to shops in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and America and they are currently working on translations for non- English speaking countries.
Get involved with Just a Card Day (28th September 2018):

Emily Dawe - Emily Dawe

Multi-talented London-based freelance stylist and craft designer, Emily Dawe, is an all-round creative who can turn her hand to most craft practices. She’s worked with many of the industry’s top brands, styled interiors, events and lookbooks and also teaches workshops.

As one of London Craft Club’s experts, Emily hosts her own creative workshops in Heals, West Elm and at Kirstie Allsopp’s The Handmade Fair, teaching everything from marbling and watercolour to origami and quilling. She has produced projects, presented online tutorials and taught workshops for Macmillan Cancer Support, Good to Know and, too.

She also teaches others creative skills at launches, events and parties and recently started styling weddings and taking commissions for wedding stationery and decorations. When she’s not busy making, she’s creating content such as online video tutorials for the Paperchase and Hobbycraft blogs, as well as for Tesco and Ideal Home. She’s also worked on commercial shoots, campaigns, and styling up brand and press events for TK Maxx/Homesense, Moonpig and Furniture Village.

Her first published book, Paper Christmas, published by Search Press, is set to make big waves in the world of papercraft on its publication in September (available to pre-order now).

“Nothing comes close to the enchanting and magical feel you experience at Christmas, where you can go to town with trimmings and decorations, garlands and sparkle. I love the variety of crafts you can produce at this time of year too; from the delicate details on the table to giant stars and festive banners, you really can go all out if you want!”

Instagram: 3,000+ followers
Twitter 4,000+ followers

Dan Grant, Licensing director, Danilo

For Danilo, it all began in 1978, following the death of Elvis Presley, when Danilo’s Chairman, Laurence Prince, recognised the public’s mood and need to celebrate the King of Rock’n’Roll’s life… and the now-familiar celebrity calendar was born. Nowadays, one in four households buys a Danilo calendar every year, making the innovative company the no.1 publisher of licensed calendars, greeting cards, gift wrap and diaries.

Working with all major licensors to create a strong and varied portfolio of brands, ranging from pre-school to adult, the company consistently delivers a fantastic product and service experience, plus quick speed to market with its dynamic supply chain. The company’s ethos? “To take great pride in our work. With a passion to improve and transform, our team strives to consistently deliver a fantastic product and service experience.” Dan says product personalisation is also part of their winning formula. “And it’s an expanding area, meaning there is plenty of room for further growth to be achieved. We are fortunate to work with many of the hottest properties across all different genres – TV Shows like BBC’s Blue Planet, sports including premiership football, music with the likes of Little Mix, latest movies such as Jurassic World 2 and hit brands like LOL Surprise, which is getting a great deal of attention from retailers.”

Facebook: 8,660 follows
Twitter: 14,303 followers
Instagram: 784 followers (account set up in October 2017)

Tiffanie Turner, Papel SF

New York-born, San- Francisco-based flower fan, Tiffanie Turner, turns tiny and large-scale works in paper into magnificent masterpieces. The award-winning architect, artist, author and instructor has staged numerous solo and group exhibitions, been prolifically published in the press and has even been proclaimed a paper-flower artist favourite by Martha Stewart. Tiffanie’s passion for papercraft is a fairly new affair. “In 2012, I was looking for a way to make flowers for a costume that would be very durable and couldn’t find anything online that was helpful, so I started engineering my own paper flowers. The next year, I had an epiphany about how to make a much larger flower… and the rest is history”. Tiffanie received a Zellerbach Family Grant award in 2016 to support her work as the May 2016 artist-in-residence at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco. Tiffanie’s sell-out Makerie retreat, offering paper-flower workshops, proves extremely popular, while she’s also well known for her wonderful book, The Fine Art of Paper Flowers.

Instagram: 32,500+ followers

Mathilde Nivet - Mathilde Nivet Studio

Paris-based paper artist, set designer, illustrator and art director, Mathilde Nivet, cuts no corners with her wonderful work. Her show-stopping creations have graced the windows of luxury fashion houses, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Guerlain, numerous campaigns, and the pages of high-end publications, including Vogue, Le Monde and Vanity Fair.

After graduating from Paris’s École Duperré, Mathilde began working and creating with her passion - paper. Her unique style and skill rewarded her with early success. “I started playing with paper 15 years ago while I was doing my textile degree. I chose to work with old letter envelopes and everything started there.”

From intricate origami jewellery and delicate floral arrangements, to fairy-tale paper castles and entire lantern-lit miniature cities, her varied, exquisite paper designs demonstrate the creative possibilities and detailed aesthetic the medium offers. “What I love most is ‘thinking with my hands’, finding new ideas during the process by creating. Also, for me, paper seems to have no limits… I always find new things with this material.”

Last year, Mathilde suspended more than 300 paper birds over the entire length of London’s prestigious Burlington Arcade. This summer, the Burlington Arcade is delighted to present her latest stunning installation, The English Garden, composed of thousands of beautiful flowers and leaves.

Project views on Béhance: 25,500+
Instagram: 3,726 followers

Hannah Read-Baldrey – Couture Craft

London-based photographic stylist, bestselling craft author and presenter, Hannah Read-Baldrey, is an “all-round” crafter with a passion for paper and florals.

Showcasing her ‘elegant, playful and whimsical’ style, her favourite piece is the Alice In Wonderland papercut cover she created for her book Everything Alice (co-written with Christine Leech). “It is GINORMOUS and I have it hanging in my living room!”

The well-known craft personality designs, makes and often models her designs for leading craft magazines and brands, including Vogue and Elle. She’s sold over 150,000 books worldwide, has collaborated with Cath Kidston and works as a presenter for brands including HobbyCraft, Tesco Living, Red Magazine and VideoJug. She also has the coveted title of QVC Craft Ambassador and has been made UK Ambassador for craft giant Ellison as a representative of their Sizzix brand.

Hannah recently released her latest book, Flowerbomb!, with Pavilion Books.

Instagram: 10,000 followers (styling work)

Ann Martin – All Things Paper

Other creators cutting it in the papercraft world include Delaware-based quiller and craft book author, Ann Martin, who enjoys exploring the worlds of creative paper art and paper craft. An aficionado of a particular papercraft which dates back hundreds of years, she is “ridiculously fond of rolling and folding small strips of paper”.

Well known for her main passion, beautiful quilled jewellery, her intricate masterpieces showcase Ann’s elegant, modern and unexpected style. She also designs paper projects for books and magazines, and loves introducing the surprising concept of rolled paper art to those who have never seen, or heard of, quilling.

The author of numerous craft books, Ann released her latest, The Art of Quilling Paper Jewelry: Techniques & Projects for Metallic Earrings & Pendants, last year.

Facebook: 18,650
Pinterest: 16,400
Instagram: 7,900
Blog subscribers: 3,000
Twitter: 2,800

Sena Runa - Quilled Paper Art

With her unique, original and colourful style, Turkey-born, Lisbon-based paper artist and author, Sena Runa, loves to bring “fruitful colours” to the lives of others and enjoys spreading joy through her work around the world.

“I discovered paper quilling in 2013, while I was searching for a hobby. I found a colourful picture made from paper using the quilling technique, but I had no idea what it was called. I tried to make it, but it turned out to be awful! I then explored quilled creations online, and soon found my own style of combining paper quilling and sketch.”

She’s been working as a full-time artist since 2015 and designs her own templates, while high-profile projects include recreating the Royal Caribbean logo for their #EXTRAORDINARY campaign.

Her tutorial book, ‘Quilling Art’, published by GMC Books, contains 20 projects varying in complexity, appealing to both beginners and experienced quillers alike.

Instagram: 108,000
Facebook: 34,800

Louise Firchau - Paper Panda

Gloucester-based papercut artist, Louise Firchau, was clearly always cut out to make the cut. Her hobby of papercutting has led to an amazing career, gallery exhibitions, a book deal, members of staff plus an army of fans.

Paper Panda was born in 2010, when she started making typographical lyrical papercuts from recycled paper.

Louise’s company has grown significantly, her online shop offering a multitude of merchandise, including its own extensive range of giftware and original pieces of artwork. There’s also an amazing ‘Guest Artist’ section and Paper Panda has its own Papercutting Facebook group. “We currently have 270k plus ‘likes’ on Facebook!”

Louise’s distinctive and highly sought-after papercut designs are displayed in her inspiring book, Paper Panda’s Guide to Papercutting, published by Search Press, offering 20 papercutting templates - five from Paper Panda plus five each from three of Paper Panda’s friends and colleagues, Sarah Trumbauer, Louise Dyer and Suzy Taylor, all accomplished papercutters in their own right.

Currently on her cutting table? “I’ve just finished a commission piece based on Angelina Jolie’s new film for StudioCanal and am about to start on a new logo for a publishers, using a mix of papercutting and graphic design, plus hundreds of mini custom sketches thrown in for fun!

Facebook: 270k+ likes
Twitter: 5,000
Instagram: 18,000

Esther Thorpe - Origami Est

Experienced origami artist, author and teacher, Esther Thorpe, enjoys illustrating her thoroughly-modern take on an ancient art of origami through her striking origami-inspired architecture, fashion, furniture and accessories for the home.

She displays a ‘fresh, playful and contemporary’ style and specialises in multimodular origami creations, celebrating the traditional Japanese art of paper folding with a twist through her contemporary edge.

And her most challenging project? “Wall art on a colossal scale, I usually work fairly small, but I was commissioned to create a wall art of a complex logo on a 2 x 3 metre canvas.”

As an ex-primary school teacher, Milton Keynes-based Esther runs creative workshops in London and across the UK for those looking to learn a new craft. She also sells handmade and bespoke origami masterpieces from her website.

She says she feels overwhelmed by the response she’s received for her book, Paper Home, published by Pavilion, which presents 15 exciting projects to fold from paper for around the home, including a lampshade, trinket boxes, a vase and baby mobiles.

Instagram: 16,000+ followers
Pinterest: 2,000 followers
Facebook: 1,500 followers
Twitter: 843 followers

Walter Mozambik - Lapa Studios

Paper art wizard, Walter Mozambiko, discovered his paper passion at a very young age. “I always loved to make toys and models out of paper and cardboard. For many years, I was also fascinated by the possibilities of digital 3D design.” In 2007, he discovered Pepakura software and started exporting 3D models into flat paper patterns. “From there, everything changed for me!”

And so Walter’s unique paper craft business began. The team of two, Walter and Hanae Niu, work out of LA-based Lapa Studios. The dynamic duo of creativity are artists, creators, graphic designers, product designers and photographers all rolled into one. “Using our core design process, we develop paper masks and sculptures, which we offer in our online shop and on Etsy. We rebuild everything using paper, cardboard and our creativity. All of our products are developed and crafted with love and care. By fusing our love for digital design with our passion for papercraft, we are able to create blueprints of all that surrounds us.”

Instagram followers: 4,675

Jun Mitani - Professor, Information and systems, University of Tsukuba

The Professor of System Information Systems at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, super-talented Jun Mitani is among the coolest papercrafters currently pushing the origami boundaries. With a Ph.D. in engineering, he carries out research into shape modelling, computational geometry, calculation origami and digital fabrication and his wonderfully-intricate organic origami has really taken the paperfolding world by storm.

Jun has served as Japan’s Origami Association Councillor and has received numerous awards for his work. He’s also the author of Pepakura Designer, a software for creating unfolded pattern from 3D data.

As the author of Pepakura Designer software, how does he see digitally-controlled computers, such as 3D printers and laser cutters, evolving? “The software and digital devices are enlarging the world of papercraft and I love to actively use these technologies. For the time being, I think it’s the human hand that will be used to actually fold the paper… and that is the most enjoyable process!”

From lampshades to clothing, Jun’s jawdropping designs using origami technology have even been the stars of the show on the big screen, featuring in films including Shin Godzilla (2016), Death Note Light Up the New World (2016), and Answer Kad (2017). “I’m happy to have the opportunity to inform so many people about the new aspects of origami. My collaboration with the famous fashion designer, Issey Miyake, to launch the new brand 132.5 with an origami motif, is another highlight of my career.”

Twitter: 8,000 followers

Wendy Piersall - Woo! Jr

Founded by Wendy Piersall a decade ago, Chicago-based company, Woo! Jr, is on a major mission to engage, educate and inspire children of all ages, encouraging them to enjoy crafty learning and playtime through their high-quality screen-free kids craft projects, offering free printables and teacher resources.

Woo! Jr. Kids Activities blog has clocked up close to a hugelyimpressive 50 million visitors from all over the world, leading to features on local news channels, The Today Show and in the Huffington Post. It’s also led to several book deals, including Mom Blogging for Dummies (Wiley Publishing, 2011) and six adult coloring books, including Nielsen Bookscan bestseller Coloring Flower Mandalas (Ulysses Press, 2015).

In 2016, Wendy started her own publishing company to produce books to complement the web content. “Our kids activity books have recently surpassed the popularity of our website! As this part of the company grows, I certainly hope to publish a whole book of paper model crafts.” Blog visitors: Nearly 50 million!

Facebook fans: 13,000
Twitter followers: 1,400

Kelly Burstow - Be a Fun Mum

Brisbane-based Kelly Burstow is the founder of the award-winning Be A Fun Mum community blog.

The Australian’s accolades include being awarded Top 10 Australian Mummy blog, Be a Fun Mum, which is all about easy crafts. From paper plate owls and Christmas trees, to paper lions and Easter egg baskets, her imagination holds no bounds. Her inspiration? “I love intricate paper cut-out work because it’s beyond my own skill. I follow illustrator Kathleen Jennings, who does beautiful cut-paper silhouettes.”

Be a Fun Mum enjoys over 180k page views and more than 162k unique views a month.

Be a Fun Mum monthly page views: 180,000+ / unique views: 162,000+
Facebook: 250,000+ followers
Twitter: 5,100+ followers
Instagram: 6,700+ followers
YouTube: 1,000+ followers
Pinterest: 8,700+ followers

Shimelle Laine -

London-based American scrapbooking influencer, Shimelle Laine, makes every day a scrapbooking adventure. Having worked as an editor for ScrapBook Inspirations magazine and Scrapbook Inspirations’ Ideas Book, she’s designed for Jenni Bowlin Studio, Banana Frog Stamps and Two Peas in a Bucket, and teaches online scrapbooking, journaling and crafting classes.

“I’ve been around a long time - I was the very first person teaching online scrapbooking classes, nearly 15 years ago. But I’ve always stayed small and true to my creative heart. I love connecting with the people crafting brings to my life!”

Shimelle offers subscribers a variety of online courses, including a new Layer on Layer on Layer class and fans can find her scrapbooking live on Facebook every Friday. There’s also the Scrapbook like a Superhero Facebook group for sharing makes, too.

For National Scrapbook Day this year, Shimelle carried out a series of live broadcasts on Facebook. “So crafters could join in and help me create six new pages. We also designed a set of stamps together over the course of that week.”

YouTube: 18,000
Instagram: 16,000
Facebook: 12,000

Cutting-edge creators in the create and craft clan!

Nancy Watt

Publications and Education Manager, Nancy Watt, has designed images and backing papers and demonstrates on Create and Craft TV, at workshops and in craft shops across the country.

With her “colourful, contemporary/traditional and quirky” style, the Chesterfield-based crafter has been papercrafting ever since she was a little girl.

Her favourite papercrafts/techniques/materials and things to make? “I do like a bit of colouring with pens or watercolours and, of course, die cutting. At the moment, I’m really enjoying making gifts using coloured die cuts to create something beautiful to put in a box frame. I recently made one for my daughter, I love that we can personalise gifts. I’m currently making another personalised box frame for my youngest daughter. She is very different to the eldest so hers will be completely different.”

Facebook: 14,000+ followers
Twitter: 7,000 followers

Louise Collins

Suffolk-based demonstrator and teacher, Louise Collins, regularly guest presents and demonstrates on Create and Craft TV. She works with Tattered Lace Dies and also contributes to craft publications.

With her specialist techniques including die cutting, stamping and altered art, flower-loving Louise illustrates an “artsy, modern and unique style.”

Her first love – scrapbooking – is followed closely by altered art, mixed media, cardmaking and art journaling. As a regular poster on Create and Craft’s blog, she shares her fave projects, tips and techniques, along with behindthe- scenes tales from the Create and Craft studios.

She’s currently concentrating on developing her brush lettering skills. “So that I can write my own greetings and sentiments. There are some products that I can see coming to market that anyone wishing to learn could benefit form, so watch this space!”

Facebook: 2,000 followers
Instagram: 700 followers
Twitter: 400 followers

Mel Heaton

Disney-loving crafting goddess, Mel Heaton, has always been creative, discovering her passion for papercraft in 1998. “I love paper engineering. It always amazes me how versatile paper is!”

The popular Create and Craft demonstrator, who has also hosted the channel’s live craft-along parties on Facebook, has in-depth knowledge of textiles, stamping and papercrafting and represents the Disney papercrafting brand. “I still get a real buzz from bringing products to air and being involved with the Disney and Warner Bros launches still gives me spine tingles!” Blackburn-based Mel is also the ‘Guru’ for the ScanNCut, Tattered Lace USB, Cutterpillar and Todo brands. With her in-depth knowledge of textiles, stamping and papercrafting, her work has taken her to the US and Europe, and she also has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry as a product developer and salesperson. Published in the majority of craft titles, she’s coeditor of The Cutting Craftorium magazine, too.

Twitter: 2,000+ followers
Instagram: 500+ followers

Carley Duff

With her “quirky, vintage and collective” style, arts and crafts tutor and retro queen, Carley Duff, demonstrates “putting the fun in art” on our screens. She first found craft at a very young age and set off on her wonderful journey of craft adventures, leading her to her crafty role at Create and Craft TV.

With her favourite paper techniques being die cutting, distressing and vintage, her preferred brands are Tattered Lace, Disney, Lawn Fawn, Simon Says Stamp, Santoro and Mod Podge. She’s currently working on an array of projects. “Home décor, cards and scrap pages. I love the way that craft evolves…”

Facebook followers: 5,000
Instagram: 1,000+
Twitter: 3,320
Blog: 3,000 subscribers

Joanna Sheen

Devon-based Joanna Sheen has been a prominent part of the craft scene since 1979. Known around the globe for her beautiful papercrafting products, she’s renowned for her traditional, feminine and timeless style, her attentive teaching approach and the care she puts into each and every one of her cardmaking supplies. Along with her TV work, showcasing her cardmaking products, craft CDs and pressed flowercraft programmes, Joanna offers craft courses.

Joanna’s currently creating cards for a new boxed set coming out in the autumn. “Gorgeous ingredients and even more of those sets to come!” She’s also working closely with one of her licensed artists. “Jane’s Christmas images are beautiful and it’s going to be a gorgeous project. Lots of fabulous paper pads in production, too, including Thomas Kinkade for Christmas.”

Facebook: 13,000 followers

Stephanie Weightman

For TV papercraft supremo, Stephanie Weightman, crafting is a way of life. The passionate Product Creative Director for the Ideal Shopping Direct Group (which runs the Create and Craft TV shopping channel) is an all-round crafter, with a vast range of enviable skills allowing her to turn her creative hand to any crafty project with ease.

Derbyshire-based Stephanie says crafting has long been her love. “I was only about eight years-old when I discovered it. I enjoyed making dolls’ clothes out of different coloured tissue paper and creating birthday cards for all my friends”. By the age of 20, Stephanie had set up her own fashion collection and textile company and, after designing embellishments for clothes, crafting soon took over as the main focus of her business. She joined Create and Craft as a presenter while running Craft Channel Productions Limited.

Facebook: 14,000+ followers
Twitter: 7,000 followers

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