Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles

Project 2 Tearing & Cutting – Exercises 4 & 5, cutting holes and creating flaps

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Sharon Arnold

During my research, Sharon Arnold’s Nixe and Chimaera, from her Nixe, Chimaera, Muff series, enthralled me.

Chimaera, in greek mythology is a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail (, 2015),  

The piece is cut from a Strathmore drawing roll (130gsm)  4 feet high, 8 1/2 feet wide and curling flames lick, flit and dance across the paper in whorls, the shadows created by the paper flaps adding to the energy and movement.


Quick sketch of Sharon Arnold’s ‘Chimaera 2010’


My version, cut from 150gsm cartridge paper, photographed on a flat red surface, against the window and on white.  Cutting this was really enjoyable, reminiscent of the pleasure I get from carving into easy-cut lino.  I love the sweep of the scalpel as it creates curves.  Although quite pleased with the outcome, I think more texture and movement could be achieved with added, finer cuts and would definitely develop this further to incorporate my own style.


Quick Sketch of  Sharon Arnold’s ‘Nixe 2010’

Nixe, defined as ‘a water fairy, usually one who is at least party human’
(,2015) cascades down the wall like a waterfall, tumbling in all directions and splashing onto the floor below.  Nixe, also cut from a Strathmore drawing roll, is 8 feet tall


My attempt at a similar style, photographed on a white background above and from different angles on a grey background below.

As before, I enjoyed cutting this and am quite pleased with the texture achieved and the flexibility of being able to manipulate the paper to curl up the ends. In Sharon Arnold’s piece, the paper falls to the floor in generously curled ribbons, which I didn’t achieve on this occasion.  I found it a comfortable and enjoyable technique which I would happily develop.

Jaq Belcher

Jaq Belcher’s FIELDS series include a myriad of tiny, identical leaf shape flaps hand cut in different directions which catch the light, creating a delightful, almost whimsical texture.


Cutting holes and creating flaps in the style of Jaq Belcher on white 150gsm cartridge paper: Photographed on a hand-dyed fabric, red and blue paper.

This was interesting.  I enjoyed looking at Jak’s work and its uniformity, the delicate cuts and effect of light falling on the varying angles of the flaps.   I found it tedious to cut the small leaf-shaped holes and almost gave up, enjoying cutting the larger leaves more.  To achieve the same sense of cohesion and fragility as the artist, needs more precision than I have offered and I wonder if her shapes are printed by computer before hand cutting.   Contributing to the success of her pieces, I also see that the precision extends beyond the uniform shape of the cuts to the careful angling of leaves.   Looking at the cuts on a white background is more effective in creating delicacy and my preference:


although I also like it on grey:



Lorenzo M. Durán

Fabulous, delicate, detailed work, cutting into leaves. (accessed 29.12.15) (accessed 2.1.16)   (accessed 29.12.15)   (accessed 28.12.15) (accessed 29.12.15) 


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