SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Nikki Nye and Amy Flurry co-founded Paper-Cut-Project in 2010. A collaboration based on amazing transformation of simple sheets of paper into dramatic silhouettes of paper-sculpted wigs, masks and accessories crafted by hand from scratch. The Atlanta-based duo forged a unique linkage of fine art and fashion that has garnered commissions by many of the world’s top fashion power houses and galleries like Hermès, Cartier, Kate Spade, La Mer and REDValentino.
The artistry is that every piece is engineer by hand with no two being alike, sometimes, even taking up to 80 hours to make. This method of sculpted paper accessories was something artistically new to the fashion industry. It creatively blends art with a trace of fantasy that has been well-received within the world of high fashion. After being sought after, they’ve designed animal-shaped masks for Hermès boutique openings in Europe and Asia; wigs and animal sculptures for the REDValentino Milan boutique opening; wigs and hair accessories for the La Mer press event in France; and black wigs for Kate Spade Flat Iron and Soho boutique window displays in New York. Watch Kate Spade’s video on Paper-Cut-Project here.
Paper-Cut-Project recently collaborated with the Victoria & Albert Museum, for a 16-piece collection of paper wigs for its “Hollywood Costume” exhibit. Their artwork has also been featured in the New York Times, Selvedge, Numero and Italian Vogue. This innovative paper-cut technique defies boundaries of what can be done with paper. Surprisingly, it has an amazing ability to retain shapes that other materials are less prone to. Using glue, water or other applications produces results that go well beyond flat, cut paper surfaces. This is especially so, when using white paper because in layering white, the shadows give a greater sense of depth to each piece and to the various textures.
These unique paper-sculpted artworks have become extremely popular in window design. With the holidays approaching, we thought it would be cool to share these mind-blowing paper-cut sculptures to inspire window displays, home or party decor ideas. Adding an element of fashion to your holiday that is anything, but conventional. At home, in the theatre or runway, in site-specific installations and editorials, the paper sculptures work across many disciplines. We were lucky to have Amy Flurry, one of the co-founders of the Paper-Cut-Project, answer some questions to help us better understand this trending art.
How did you and Nikki meet and what inspired the Paper-Cut-Project?
Nikki and I met at a boutique she opened in Atlanta in 2007. She had a great eye and a way of putting things together that was rare and she had her own paper art on the walls. As a veteran fashion editor and writer, I frequented her store and found her point of view exciting. Over time we realised that we shared a love of fashion and the fantasy in storytelling as it played out in campaigns, runway productions and fashion spreads. When she closed the store in 2009, it created an opportunity for us to work together.
Our original idea was simply to do a great window together, something we weren’t seeing in Atlanta at that time. As Nikki had been working in paper already and knew the material, we decided that our signature would be to make three-dimensional sculptures of paper that carried the styling concepts. We debuted our first window at Jeffrey boutique in New York and Atlanta (simultaneously) in January of 2010 and a month later, Hermès reached out to us. Opportunities for the work have been presenting themselves to us eversince!
Could you briefly explain what paper art is and how to learn the craft? Is there a class that we could take to learn paper artistry?
Our work was born of imagination, truly. While my partner, Nikki, had been working with the material since college, this interpretation was something new for the both of us. From there, we experimented with the material and with our finishes. Experimentation is what we both encourage as this allows everyone to find their own voice from this humble material. I imagine there are many classes online and show and tell examples on various forms of paper art/craft.
With the holidays approaching, can you share some ideas of how someone could decorate their store window or home for a party using the Paper-Art-Project?
The work is quite expensive, but if your readers wanted to use their imagination and take inspiration from our pieces, we’d be flattered. We’ve had people commission paper masks for special occasions and the same with wigs. They are all one of a kind pieces.
In the past five years, paper expressions have been a very popular window display material. It’s inexpensive and there are so many different interpretations. We’ve enjoyed working in a mostly white scheme, as the layers create shadows and depth that are dramatic. I’ve seen a number of interesting displays in paper for Anthropologie. It’s an inexpensive material so that investment is minimal, save for the time!
For inspiration, check out Paper-Cut-Project at: www.paper-cut-project.com