Caroline Rees

I am a surface designer and have been designing and cutting stencils for almost 30 years - first for printed textiles, then for architectural sandblasted glass and currently for papercuts.


I specialise in creating contemporary and original black and white papercut artwork, painstakingly cut by hand or by laser from the finest paper with the smallest of scalpels. Inspired by the people I meet, the dramatic coastal landscape where I live and scenes from family life, I transform my drawings into linear patterns making pictures which exaggerate the decorative characteristics of my surroundings.

All my papercuts are originally cut by hand to ensure that the composition works before I make a decision about whether or not to have it laser cut in a limited edition. They start out as a rough sketch in my sketchbook which are drawn again to work out the composition before finally being re-drawn onto heavyweight black Italian paper and cut by hand. If I'm happy with how it looks then it's photographed and saved on my computer. I use my mouse to draw around this image, plotting every single line to tell the laser where to cut. This stage is very laborious but important as the quality of the final piece is determined by my accuracy with the mouse! Finally the lasercut is mounted in relief - I like the shadows it creates - and many of the pieces are hand finished with a collage of colour, making each one slightly different.