Recent Commissions: Paper Cut Letter and Wave

I’ve worked on a few small commissions over the last few weeks and have done a bad job of documenting them before they went on their way. I managed to take one quick photo of each of them, but not details.


I made this custom letter paper cut for a client who came across my work via The Georgia Straight instagram account. They reshared my time lapse video during Culture Crawl weekend, and from there she checked out my work and decided to commission this letter for her son. I don’t do these very often but it’s always nice when someone wants one. Check out the Etsy listing here.

Commission: Wave

The wave is one design in a series I made for a hospitality commission a few years back, and was recently requested to redo because the original was stolen from the client. It’s a bit flattering someone liked it so much they wanted it for themselves, but what a way to go about it. It was lovely to revisit this design and do an even better job of it than years previous. I am much more refined as a paper cutting artist because I have more years of experience under my belt.

I really should make some of these to sell…

Magnificent Sonobe Origami Artwork for the Office

The sonobe origami art commission I’ve been working on for months is finished and hanging in the offices of Steamclock Software. It was custom framed and mounted at Frame of Mind Fine Art & Framing, which is the best place to go when you have weird or awkward pieces of art (like this is) that need framing.

The work brightens up our meeting room/kitchen and also acts as an acoustic panel to dampen noise in an echoey space.

Sonobe origami office art

Sonobe origami office art

The finished piece is 45 inches by 43 inches mounted on foam core, and is made up of 450 to 500 pieces of origami paper. I’m pleased this commission turned out so magnificently well.

Work In Progress: Sonobe Office Art

Work in progress sonobe

I’ve been working on a massive paper project off and on since July to create new artwork for the Steamclock Software office in Gastown, where I work part-time as the office manager. When I started I completely underestimated how long it would take me to make it, even knowing I needed to fold around four hundred and fifty-ish pieces of origami paper. Folding was only the first part, piecing together and coming up with a colour composition was the second part, and gluing everything together was part three.

Work in progress sonobe

Work in progress sonobe

I’m waiting for an opportunity to do part four, which is spraying it with a protective coating, before I can move on to the final stages of mounting, framing, and hanging it on the office wall. I started out working on this project at home, and quickly moved it to the office where there is way more table space to accommodate something of this size (about 40 inches square).

Work in progress sonobe

Work in progress sonobe

Work in progress sonobe

The type of origami is called sonobe, and it’s a modular origami I briefly played around with at The Leeway studio last year. I never thought I’d eventually end up making something of this size as a commission. I much prefer creating my original work to making origami paper art, and I don’t want anyone getting ideas from this to ask me to do more origami-related work. I’ll leave it to the experts, such as Joseph Wu.

Commission Work for Farmboy Fine Arts

This is a recent piece of work I was commissioned to do for Farmboy Fine Arts. The piece is based upon classic Arabic architecture details, and I was provided with the design to use as my template. Cutting someone else’s design is not something I’d ever done before, but this was fascinating to work with because the line work is so structured.

Farmboy commission

Farmboy commission

Farmboy commission

The finished piece was framed a photographed by Farmboy Fine Arts.

Wave Paper Cut Commission

This is a small commission I completed for a client a couple of weeks ago and was waiting to share it until after it was given (and received) as a gift.

The requirements were for the paper to be cerulean blue, for the work be to made into a card that could be framed later, and for the design to be ocean-themed. It also needed to be turned around on short notice so I used an existing design I’d created for a previous commission.

Wave commission

Wave commission

Wave commission

I like this wave design enough to now consider creating it as a paper cut “print” for my Etsy shop. What do you think?

Paper Cut Commission in 3D

I’ve had a few small commissions to work on for clients who ordered things during Culture Crawl. One of these is this small three dimensional paper cut for a good friend. She liked one of the pieces I had on display but wanted something similar in yellow rather than black.

Paper cut work in progress

Paper cut commission

Framed paper cut commission

The piece is small, only 5″ x 5″ from yellow card stock and backed with a lighter yellow in the framed version (which is too subtle to see in the photos). It resembles wheat blowing in the breeze rather than a wing as these pieces sometimes do. I’m inspired to do more work like this but on a larger scale going forward.

Paper Cut Dioramas For So Nice

This is work I have been sitting on for months while I waited for the advertisements to be approved by the client and go to print. I was commissioned in June by ReThink Communications to cut and fabricate by hand two illustrated scenes created from ten layers of paper to advertise So Nice soy and almond milk.

Around the time I completed my part of the work I shared two tiny details of a bird and a maple leaf, one from each scene. It gives an idea of the scale I was working at, though both scenes once assembled were approximately 9.75″ high, 3.75″ wide, and 8″ long.

So Nice work
Work in progress of the Yoga pose diorama, just after all the layers were cut.

So Nice work-6
So Nice work-3
Work in progress of the Yoga pose diorama, fully assembled in my studio.

So Nice work-2
Work in progress of the Gardening diorama, just after all the layers were cut.

So Nice work-4
So Nice work-5
Work in progress of the Gardening diorama, fully assembled in my studio.

The paper I worked with was 100lb watercolour paper, which was a heavier paper than I was used to at the time. The agency wanted a handmade look and feel to the pieces, to suit the organic focus of the products. The blank cartons were provided by the client, and skinned in post-production by the agency.

The final version of the artwork used in the advertisement can be viewed in my portfolio.

Tiny Paper Cut Details

I’ve been working on a papercraft commission with ReThink Communications for the last week and a half. The finished pieces are intricate set pieces made from paper, and they look incredible. This work was shot by a photographer yesterday and will be part of an ad campaign coming out later this summer. I can’t yet share the finished work, so I thought I’d hint at things to come with a few two tiny details.

Tiny birds

Tiny Maple Leaf

The project has been terrific to work on, and has given me ideas to use towards my own work. It even has me rethinking the type of paper I typically use.

Laser Cut Commission: Earnest Ice Cream

I am pleased to present this recent commission I completed last week for Earnest Ice Cream. The piece was installed in the shop last Saturday morning and will be on permanent display.

Ben and Erica reached out to me over the summer about creating artwork for their new scoop shop that opened on Fraser Street in August. As our discussions began about what sort of work they wanted for the shop I had just done the first experiment of translating my paper cut designs into laser cut wood, and this is what they chose to go with.

Laser cut commission-9

Laser cut commission-8

Because their budget was limited we chose the design from existing paper cut work, which you can see in my portfolio. From there I scanned the work in two pieces (because it was too large for the scanner), then assembled and cleaned it up in Photoshop.

Laser cut commission-6

Laser cut commission-5

The most involved bit of work in this process was creating a clean outline of the design using Illustrator. I don’t have a lot of experience using this software so my friend Kirsti kindly gave me a crash course in what I needed to know. I used the trace function to create the outline but it was hours (and hours) of tedious work to clean it up into something usable.

This is a key step because the laser cutter works with vector files, and the cleaner the outline, the better the final product.

Laser cut commission-3

Laser cut commission-2

The finished piece is cut from bamboo plywood, and was fabricated by Hopewell Works Ltd. This is a laser cutting and engraving fabrication studio, located right in my neighbourhood, and I was referred to by Derek of Laser Cutter Cafe. The people at Hopewell Works really know their stuff, and it was great to work with them.

Laser cut commission-4

Laser cut commission

Laser cut commission-7

It was a huge learning curve to figure out how to make this piece, and I could not have done it without the help of Boris, Arnt, Val, and Kirsti. Each one of them shared their knowledge with me, or lent a hand in some essential way.