Cut Fold Construct at West Dean College

At the beginning of February I attended a three day course at West Dean College near Chichester, West Sussex entitled Cut Fold Construct. The course was led by Andy Singleton a paper artist based in Wakefield.

I love West Dean College – it’s such a lovely setting and always has such good catering. I enjoyed a walk on the first evening in the grounds where the snowdrops could be seen in the dusky half light lining the pathways interspersed with crocuses and small tiny yellow flowers that I don’t know the name of. It was almost a full moon and very atmospheric – there was no-one around so I walked along slowly singing aloud to myself – well it was a full moon!

West Dean College - moonlight

I love playing with paper and it came as a welcome break from my enamelling, although admittedly I do cut stencils from card most days so not entirely a break! However, there was so much freedom in the course that I got to play and play and play.

We were first introduced to Andy’s work through examples that he had brought along. A lot of his current work is based around cloud formations, though he does make commercial pieces such as constructed birds and butterflies for department store window displays.

Cut Fold Construct 15 - piece from Nebula Series by Andy SingletonCut Fold Construct 9 - paper cut from Nebula Series by Andy Singleton

Cut Fold Construct 4 - paper work examples by Andy Singleton

Cut Fold Construct 5 - paper work by Andy Singleton

We then were split into groups of three and made a large paper cut together which we then manipulated into a 3D form.

Cut Fold Construct 21 - group paper sculpture - detail

As starting exercises Andy gave us templates of pieces from his Nebula Series which we then cut and manipulated into different formations.

Cut Fold Construct 25 - putting together Andy Singleton's nebula series as part of a course exercise by Janine Partington

We were also shown how to construct 3D objects from pieces of paper, like this example by Sarah, a full-time West Dean student studying Fine Art.

Cut Fold Construct 7 - constructed paper sculpture by Sarah Heenan

We were then given a few mini project briefs e.g. free form paper cutting and forming

Cut Fold Construct 20 - first free form paper sculpture by Janine Partington

and relief paper sculptures. I decided I wanted to draw into my relief to give it another dimension.

Cut Fold Construct 23 - paper relief of geese by Janine Partington

I then went a little crazy when given focussed time to play and made lots and lots of creations.

Cut Fold Construct 22 - cut fold and bend by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 19 - cut fold and bend by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 18 - a closed box by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 24 - Spring out of Winter by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 17 - a bird by chance by Janine Partington

I then started to draw and cut to create some forms that I was pleased with.

Cut Fold Construct 12 - hand coloured paper sculpture by Janine Partington (1)

Cut Fold Construct 14 - drawing and paper cut by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 13 - paper sculpture doodle vessel by Janine Partington

Cut Fold Construct 10 - paper vessel by Janine Partington (1)

Cut Fold Construct 3 - a paper sculpture doodle by Janine Partington

I also enjoyed looking at what was left behind after the cuts and layered these up to create new images.

Cut Fold Construct 16 - what is left after the playing by Janine Partington

And with a few minutes left to go on the last day I played around with the pieces I had left.

Cut Fold Construct 1 -  a five minute sculpture doodle by Janine Partington

My fellow students included a full time Fine Art student studying at West Dean called Sarah, two part-time FDAD  (foundation art and design) students called Chloe and I’m afraid I’ve forgotten the other lady’s name as she was unwell after the first day and had to leave the course, a lady called Melanie (who had attended Andy’s course at West Dean three years previously) and Jack, a bookbinder. It was a small group and we were very quiet as we concentrated on our work but it was really interesting to see what everyone came up with when faced with a blank piece of paper!

This piece by Sarah was based on the sculpture she made for her end of year show last year at West Dean and a piece she was currently making in her studio which she was making with gaffer tape. One lunchtime she showed us around the full-time students studios and it was great to see the amazing spaces they have and get a feel for the place.

Cut Fold Construct 2 - paper sculpture by Sarah Heenan

Melanie came to the course wanting to make a unicorn and produced this rather wonderful relief. On her previous course with Andy she had apparently made a very impressive owl. I really admired her patience as she and Andy worked out how to make the components and get it right.

Cut Fold Construct 8 - unicorn paper relief by Melanie (1)

Chloe spent a lot of time creating this very delicate piece using scalpel and scissors.

Cut Fold Construct 6 - a paper relief by FDAD student Chloe (1)

Jack made a great relief letter T but unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of that, but this relief that he did shows how accurate he was with his measurements – must come along with his bookbinding skills! He spent a very long time getting his windmill just right.

Cut Fold Construct 11 - paper relief by Jack