The Beauty of Metallic Foil Paper

I love metallics and have used them in my work in various ways over the years, mostly as inks or paints applied to paper. When we were in Berlin a few years ago, I was excited to find rolls of metallic foil paper in the fantastic art and design store Modulor. I came back with a roll of copper, and Boris brought me back a whole range of other colours when he went to Berlin again on a business trip.

I had previously done a few test cut pieces with this material but hadn’t yet tackled anything beyond that until recently. Just before Christmas I pulled some of it out to do more tests and see how well it would work in creating a cut paper design. The material “tests” became finished pieces that I ended up framing because they worked out so well.

I drew the designs using a mechanical pencil (as I always do) and was interested to see it scores the metal paper more than marks it with the graphite but it makes it easy to see the lines and follow them when cutting. There is potential to do a piece by scoring a design into the material rather than cutting.

Hand-cut copper foil paper

It is a slightly thick material but no more difficult to cut through than other papers I work with. I did need to change the blade more than I would have working on a similar sized piece in fibre-based paper. Maybe three blades were used when usually one would be sharp enough at this scale.

Hand-cut silver foil paper

I’m hoping to work with this material again soon and create a few larger pieces utilizing the full colour range of metallic foil papers I have on hand.

You can find these two framed and ready to hang in my online shop.

Pattern Mixing in a Medium Size

This red triangle is yet another scaled down pattern mixing composition I created for The Art Shop pop-up last November. The curator really liked this large piece but it didn’t fit the price point she was looking for. (I’m also holding onto it for another upcoming show).

The original triangle was composed of nine sections with unique patterns and this medium version has six sections. I think I used completely different patterns in each one because it’s one of the most enjoyable challenges when creating each piece – exploring new designs.





The finished version is framed as a 16 inch by 20 inch piece, and is available for purchase in my online shop.

Pattern Mixing Cut and Ink Test

The paper I often use in my work comes in a pretty limited range of colours, and I’ve been trying to figure out if I can customize this by painting or printing on the paper. It’s tricky because the Canson Mi-Teintes paper warps and buckles with the addition of wet mediums because it isn’t made for painting or printing.

I was inspired by another artist to try rolling ink and acrylic paint onto the paper to add smooth flat colour (which is what I actually want). I tried it out on two different types of paper I use in my work, and it was mixed results.

I made this pattern mixing piece from one of these ink rolling experiments on Mixed Media paper but the results aren’t great on closer inspection. The ink and paint sit on the surface and flaked off at the edge of every single cut line. It made for very messy work with these small flakes covering my cutting matt and hands as I worked.

The piece itself was an experiment in quickly putting together a pattern mixing piece as a test of the idea, to move from sketchbook drawings to a completed piece of work.

Modular Origami to Occupy My Time

My friend Nadine shared her version of this modular origami structure on Instagram and I decided to work on one of my own because I needed to work on something (ANYTHING!) The Covid times have been detrimental to everyone’s creativity and I thought this would be a good distraction. (It was).

The instructions for folding the individual units and final assembly can be found here on the Instagram account of Dáša Ševerová. Her version, and Nadine’s, is made with small sheets of paper. Mine is made with full sized 5″ x 5″ double-sided colour patterned origami paper, and includes forty-four folded units. It is ridiculously large. Their folded pieces are small and elegant.

The nice thing about this type of modular origami is there are so many variations of what you can do it, including paper choice, and the amount of folded units. Another variation is twisting it into a möbius strip. Go on and give it a try yourself!

Work In Progress: Paper Sculpting Sketches

I was inspired by my own paper sculpting workshop in January to begin experimenting with again with incorporating these techniques into my own work. I broke out the colourful paper and past small prototypes from the drawer where they were tucked, and started playing in the studio.

I came up with more shapes and played around with combining different shapes and forms, using lots of colour, and coming up with different compositions.

These are some examples of the sketches I pulled together throughout February and early March. I love them so much.

Making a Wiksten Haori with Blackbird Fabrics

I attended my first all-day sewing class a few weekends ago at Blackbird Fabrics. I was there to construct the Wiksten Haori from scratch, start to finish in one day. This was a feat I’d never previously accomplished (and may never again). I’d bought fabric and the pattern to make the jacket for myself in the spring but had been too intimidated to try and do it on my own.

I was glad to find the class at Blackbird, but it included an unlined version of the pattern and I had to work with fabric chosen by them rather than my own. I was fine with that because I figured I could make another version on my own after the class.

The Haori has an oversized fit with options to make it in three different lengths. The fabric I worked with was a cotton/linen blend with a jacquard texture in black, and I made the small fit Haori in mid-length.

The full day of sewing was epic and exhausting but we were gently and enthusiastically guided step by step through the process by class teacher, Joy Nickerson, with support from Natasha, the workshop co-ordinator at Blackbird. I won’t describe the entire sewing process but we used the serger A LOT, which was my first time doing so, and the whole thing got progressively more challenging the closer we came to finishing. The jacket collar is a whole lot of work to put together and attach.

My version of the Haori has a whole lot of tiny flaws because I am not a great or careful sewer, but it’s all delightfully hidden thanks to the dark fabric. I wore it for five days straight after I made it because I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

Transforming a piece of cloth into a finished garment that you wear home at the end of class made me feel like I had magical powers.

The Finished Sashiko Table Runner

I am so thrilled to share the finished hand-stitched table runner I made for the beautiful side table I restored last last year. They look wonderful together.

The runner is stitched with a cross-stitch sashiko pattern called Jujizashi. I’d always wanted to try this one but felt intimidated by its seeming complexity. It was so much easier to do than I’d assumed.

My lovely friend Barb did the finishing on this for me because when I attempted to sew it together myself I completely messed it up. I had to undo all the sewing, and then Barb offered to do it for me. She did a spectacular job. The shibori dyed fabric coasters pictured on the table in the first shot were also made by her.

Making things for my own home is such a special thing, and always a great opportunity for learning.

Making Waves in Layers

Over the past few months I’ve been working on experimenting with taking the work in a new direction involving layered pieces of cut paper. I’ve wanted to explore this idea for awhile but couldn’t quite get my head around how, until recently. I’ve been working with Yupo paper for these pieces, starting with the small prototype I shared in a previous blog post.

One my struggles around layering was how to retain the elaborate designs of the cutting across multiple layers of paper and have them not become a big jumble of busyness. Should I cut the entirety of each layer or part of each one, was the big question. With the piece pictured here I created each layer to overlap slightly and used alternating lightness and darkness of the same colour to differentiate. I think it worked out really well.

Freshly painted layers laid flat
Layer assembly in-progress

The work is titled, Dreaming in Colours Borrowed From The Sea and is inspired by the repetition of ocean waves. It’s approximately 14” x 11” with six layers of hand-cut Yupo paper painted with gouache.

This is the second of two pieces I’ve created for an upcoming show titled, On The Same Page: Transforming Paper, happening in May as part of Crafted Vancouver. More details to come!

The completed assembly of all six layers

Pattern Remix with Printing & Cutting

I’ve had the finished paper cut print hanging on my studio wall since I finished it a few weeks ago. I go back and forth as to whether or not I like the end results. I did the piece as a quick experiment (as quick as one can be when printing and cutting a large sheet of paper) to get an idea out of my head and into reality.

(Excuse the quick iPhone photo quality…)

I used a variety of simple repeating shapes mixed together amongst complex designed patterns, and I definitely feel the more formal patterns work better and come across in a stronger way.

I haven’t done more work in the studio along these lines since I finished this, but I’m hoping to get back to printmaking in March when I’ll be taking a class. I’m looking forward to a little formal learning to inform the work.

Paper Cut Heart Translated to Wood

I did my final laser cutting session of the Tool for Women residency at MakerLabs last Friday, and reproduced this lovely heart design as a laser cut from bamboo ply. The original paper cut is below so you can see how well they match. It was probably one of the easier ones for me to trace and create a vector file from in Illustrator, so it’s no surprise at how well it turned out as a laser cut piece.

28 days of hearts


It’s hard to get a sense of scale from the photos but the original is around 4.5 inches by 3 inches, and the wood version is 13.5 inches by 9 inches. The heart is from the series 28 Days of Hearts I worked on earlier this year.


Now that the residency is over, I’m trying to figure out how to move forward and continue creating laser cut pieces of work, which is something I’ve been intending to do for ages.