Friday, 5 June 2015

I Love Paper, by Fideli Sundqvist. Review.




I Love Paper
Paper-cutting techniques and templates for amazing toys, sculptures, props and costumes
By Fideli Sundquist
Quarry Books 2015
Paperback  £14.99 UK, £ 22.99 US, $24.99 CAN
ISBN 978-1-63159-02J-2

Star rating: *** 1/2

With a title and strapline like the above, this title was destined to be featured on my blog. The author, Fideli Sundqvuist, is a Swedish paper artiste extraordinaire. Her love affair with paper began as a child, when she was introduced to the magic of Chinese papercuts. Since graduating from The University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design (Konstfack) 2011, she has undertaken commissions for clients in advertising and display, and has also exhibited her work.

This is a template-led book with a good range of hand-cut papercraft projects (40 in all), most of which are 3-D. Chapter headings include Silhouettes, Geometric Figures, Food, Flowers and Leaves, Masquerade, and Buildings – so lots of variety. The templates for making 3-D geometric shapes could come in very handy for practitioners of Zentangle looking for surfaces to decorate. There are plenty of pyramid boxes out there on the internet – but here you will also find an icosahedron (20 sides). Easy when you know how – photocopiable template provided. The paper animal zebra and lion template would delight any child.

Paper flowers are ever-popular, and here you will find both naturalistic and stylized versions. Step-by-steps are provided for the projects. Since this book is translated from the Swedish, the text is occasionally awkward. I think when “wax paper” is called for, it is tracing- or freezer paper that is meant. But that is a small thing. You will find many important asides and observations interspersed throughout – such as how important it is to add dimensionality to a 2-D silhouette by giving it some lift to provide shadowplay. 

The paper food is beautifully done. Paper food is a Marmite kind of thing. If you like it – it is done beautifully here. Lots of fancy cuts and folds to appreciate. Paper sushi, anyone?

It is interesting to note that this artist does her original sketches in the Illustrator drawing program – and then proceeds to hand-cut her designs. Clearly the personal touch that hand-cutting provides is important to the look of her projects. (It would have been the easy option to use a digital papercutting machine.)

The photography is lovely. The projects are fun. But mostly – this is one very talented  artist’s personal take on papercutting.