Paper Cutting by Golda Argel (Papr)

I really value how this blog has become a vibrant platform for me to share the plethora of amazing local talent that I come across in our little archipelago.

On this note, I’d love to introduce you to the intricate paper cutting art of Golda Argel, who creates one-of-a-kind pieces through her brand Papr.

SnapseedI first discovered Golda’s work through photographer Lisa Llarena‘s Instagram page and I knew they would make the perfect wedding gifts for two dear friends last January.

From the moment I sent her an email, Golda was  a joy to work with on these presents.  She wanted to know as much as possible about both couples so that she could create personal works of art that would be special to them. We went through specific details like where they had their first dates, how they liked to spend their weekends, and even if a well-loved pooch was fluffy.

Snapseed-11I asked Golda to share a bit about her process with us and she was kind enough to offer a super nice giveaway for my readers at the end. What might surprise you to know about about Golda (it surprised me) is that she is a full-time law student who believes that it is possible to have the time to do anything you want. Read her great tips below.

CJL: What exactly do you do?
GA: Armed with a craft knife, I cut paper to create bespoke handmade papercuts.

Snapseed-10What exactly is paper cutting? What is the history of this art?
Papercutting is the art of creating an image using specialized tools and is believed to have originated in China as a symbolic and decorative art form.

Snapseed-1What kind of equipment is required? Is there a specific type of paper needed?
I use acid-free paper to preserve the artwork for longer periods, otherwise it would turn yellow and become brittle over time. For paper substance, I find 100-120gsm best for intricate details although some do prefer to work with board. Tools needed would be a craft knife, a sharp blade, and a self healing mat. A knife with a nice grip and a good self healing mat could do wonders for your hands. The best type of blade for papercutting is the #11 type because the tip is extremely sharp. If you’ll be using a ruler, buy the metal ones as plastic rulers wil get cut by the blade.


Snapseed-8How long have you been paper cutting? How did you start?
I first saw Lori Danelle‘s fingerprint papercut 2 years ago in Pinterest. I appreciate and always seek to learn new forms of art so I tried it and was pretty good but forgot about it after one piece because I got busy with school. Around 7 months ago, I was really stressed during midterm exams and I just wanted to relax and keep my mind off things so I decided to try it again. I find the process quite relaxing, almost like meditation. I posted some of my work on my facebook profile and was really surprised about the positive feedback so I started to experiment on other layouts until I got better. I’m living proof of how skills and ability can improve within months with practice and tons of patience. *laughs*

Snapseed-2Can you tell us about your process? Around how long does it take to make each piece?
Layouts are first hand drawn on paper. I draw the draft backwards since the other side of the paper would be the actual piece. I’ve made digital templates for some of my layouts so sometimes I would just print it and use it as a guide. The drafting is the hardest part for me since I make sure that each piece is personalized. Then I would hand cut all the small details first while the blade is at its sharpest then move to finishing the whole piece. Some layouts can be done in an hour while the really detailed ones could take a few days. So far, the longest period for me is 4 days but that’s already including the hours I spend for my studies.

Snapseed-5How much personalization do you put into each work?
Each cut is designed and drawn to order to meet the needs and ideas of my clients. I see to it that there’s meaning in each cut, even down to the smallest detail.

Snapseed-4I understand you’re also a law student, how do you balance your time?

I get this question a lot and I always tell people that if you kick social media to the curb, or at least reduce time and effort spent there, you’ll be surprised at how much you can do in one day. Since I have evening classes, I used to go home after class then spend so many hours in social networks or surf the internet until I got tired and sleep. That was my way of relaxing since I prefer to study in the morning until class time. I still follow the same sched only this time I can relax and be productive at the same time through art.

Can you tell us about some of your more memorable pieces?
My most memorable piece was the one that I made for our professor as a birthday gift from our class. He’s one of the pillars and most loved professors in law school so I really wanted our class gift to be special to show our appreciation. I aged my hands fitting 42 names in one 8x11inch tree but it was worth it. I have never seen him speechless. He’s like a walking encyclopedia so he has always known what to say and can always say something about a certain topic. Until that day. 🙂

Snapseed-3Around how much would it cost of purchase one of your works? 
Right now, my range for the pre designed layouts is at 600php to 1,500php, unframed. Price for requested layouts would depend on the time and effort spent for the design and cutting.

Can you tell us how much time should be given to order a piece? 
My lead time is 4 weeks so I can properly plot orders in my schedule and not sacrifice my studies. Shorter lead time is possible for some layouts depending on the number of pending orders in a given deadline.

Snapseed-6Now’s your chance to own a beautiful Papr art piece made just for your family. Similar to the one Golda has made for me above.

1. Leave a comment sharing a hobby you’d like to learn more about. Like Golda says , “If there’s one thing I got from this experience, it’s the importance of making time for what you love. :)”

2. Share this feature on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. You can use one of the buttons below to help you do so. Please tag me so I can see it. My social media accounts can be found on the righthand side of my blog. 

3. Golda will contact two lucky winners via email next month to work out details. Since items will be framed free of charge, she is requesting that participants be willing to pick up their pieces in the Rockwell area when convenient. 

If you’re interested in ordering her beautiful work, please contact Golda through her Facebook page.