Paper Sculptures

February 17, 3013

Paper Sculptures

We will start by looking at the work of Peter Callesen, a Danish artist who works makes detailed sculptures using a very simple, familiar material: computer paper.


(with permission from Peter Callesen, Distant Wish detail)

Have a look at Callesen’s website (, in particular his A4 Papercuts (A4 refers to the size of standard white computer paper). Notice the playful connections between negative space (what is cut away) and positive space (the paper that is left), and between the 2D flat paper and the 3D sculpted forms.

For our next project, you will have the choice between two options:

OPTION 1: Using 1-2 pieces of paper, create a 3-dimensional scene that tells a story. Think about creating a composition that makes use of the entire page of paper, and has a balance between 2D flat paper and 3D sculpted forms and between positive and negative space.

OPTION 2: Recreate an everyday object using paper (see examples below). Include as much detail as possible. Be creative in your use of the paper material.

Materials will be limited to paper, glue sticks, scissors, and cutting knives for both options.


CRITERIA (what I will be looking for in your finished piece):

1. COMPOSITION: is well thought-out and balanced, three-dimensional forms have been planned and fit together nicely.

2. EXPERIMENTATION: You have found creative ways to meet the challenge of working with this material. You have been open to trying new techniques or several different techniques.

3. CRAFTSMANSHIP: The finished piece is neat and well-done (the paper is clean, cut lines are crisp and straight).

4. IDEAS: The paper material has been using in a creative way and you have experimented with the material.

Here is the Paper Sculpture Rubric that I will be using for marking.


Here are some more images to get you thinking about the possibilities:


(paper sculpture by Cheong-ah Hwang from:


(Paper bee by Elsita, from:




(images from: – a great resource for ideas!)


(with permission from Peter Callesen, White Hand)


(with permission from Peter Callesen, Impenetrable Castle)


February 27, 2013


Ideas development: Brainstorming and building prototypes (rough drafts)


– building ‘nets’ (folding one piece of paper into 3D shapes)


– making frames or skeletons and filling them in with flat paper


– making scenes (cutting into the 2D paper and folding parts out)


– paper casting (for round, spherical shapes)



What details you can add to make your sculpture even more realistic? What other techniques can you use?

Look back at the work of Peter Callesen and think about the techniques he uses and the details he includes in each piece. Can you use these to get ideas for your own work?

Take another look at the Paper Sculpture Rubric that I will be using for marking. Think about where your piece falls in the rubric and where you could focus more attention in the next few classes.


(Toilet paper roll art by Anastassia Elias, from:

Notice how this miniature scene in toilet paper rolls uses layers of paper to show details and three-dimensional depth.


(with permission from Peter Callesen, Half Way Through)

Details can also be added at this point by adding colour or drawing, like the lower body in this Peter Callesen piece.


March 11, 2013

In partners or groups of 3, take 10-15 minutes to give feedback on each others’ work so far. Remember that these are works in progress and only say things that you would want to hear yourself. Ask each other questions and give each other ideas – that’s what artists do!

  • What do you think they are trying to represent? (Make a guess if you’re not sure)
  • What details could be added to make their piece more realistic?
  • What techniques are they are using? Are they working? What else could they try?
  • What parts could be ‘cleaned up’? How could it be done?


March 15, 2013

Here are the finished paper sculptures! I so appreciated your willingness to experiment with the unconventional materials and to work hard to find creative ways to make your projects. Well done!

IMG_0509 IMG_0533IMG_0510 IMG_0511 IMG_0524 IMG_0513  IMG_0522 IMG_0514 IMG_0519 IMG_0525 IMG_0530 IMG_0531  IMG_0526  IMG_0535  IMG_0537 IMG_0540 IMG_0542IMG_0536  IMG_0551 IMG_0575

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