Category Archives: guest blogger

Off to PNG…

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Paper Runway Photographer, Katie Waddell (nee Preece – she just got hitched), went to visit her brother, Matt, in Papua New Guniea recently. Katie shares her story of her trip and her stunning images with us…

“Why would you go there?” was the question I got when I told people where I was travelling. My brother Matt has worked and lived in PNG for three years and was getting married. He works as an aircraft engineer for a not for profit organisation called MAF.

MAF provide flights to over 250 remote bush communities with essentials like medical evacuations and community development. Because of the harsh terrain many villages are only accessible by either plane or foot. Over 80% of Papuans live a traditional life off the land with little or no money, so this service is life saving.

While at work he managed to get a piece of wire through his finger. Being a third world country the local hospital doesn’t have the best medical facilities. So he travelled to Kudjip Nazarene Hospital, a not for profit hospital which has a reputation for being the best hospital in PNG. Once there he was treated by Dr Becky, a volunteer from America, and that’s how two very important people to me met.

Matt and Becky are perfect for each other, in so many ways, but especially because they both love what they do and they do it well. They even help when they can at the local orphanage.

Living in PNG isn’t easy. Mining has changed the culture of some people in the cities. They no longer see each other in the traditional ways as brothers and sisters, but as opponents with only the fittest to survive. This has resulted in high crime rates in the cities; it is like living in a war zone, razor wire and poverty everywhere. The challenges of living in a remote non-western country also make living hard. Necessities like water and electricity can be cut off for days and things that are the norm in Australia are rare here; a block of chocolate will cost you AU$20.

Before I visited Matt & Becky I didn’t completely understand why they loved being in PNG in such hard circumstances. It wasn’t until I saw them in their element; the work they do and the lovely people they help, that I completely appreciated why they loved it there.

The people are so happy and friendly; everyone waves and smiles to each other calling ‘gut moning’ (good morning) or ‘apinu’n (afternoon). Children laugh and giggle when you show them their photos. The food was so good that when I came home everything tasted bland. The scenery was so beautiful it was dream-like. From the air I saw massive mountains and waterfalls, and on our approach to landing in Mt Hagen I saw countless shades of greens in all of the patches of little gardens and farms. In many ways it is paradise but unfortunately that is not always the case.

I am so proud of Matt & Becky and I hope this story will raise much needed awareness and support for the amazing organisations they work so hard for.

To find out more about MAF click here, to find out more about Kudjip Nazarene Hospital click here, to find out more about BFO Orphanage click here.


A Paper Wonderland | Elise Maree Trickey

In the back lanes and little side streets of Chippendale on “Little Queen Street” awaits a paper wonderland to yet be discovered “Here today, Gone tomorrow, Life’s fragile nature” at NG art gallery.

I walk in, only to be greeted by a rainbow chinese dragon (hand cut by Chen Hangfeng) and how brilliantly pleasant he was.

Waiting patiently at the top of the stairs was the most delicate and intricate works I have ever seen, by creator and paper genius “Hina Aoyama”. Her work was so fine and detailed that it reminded me of lace. Her work was an absolute delight to gaze upon and I felt like I could continue to look at it forever and still be full of intrigue and surprise.

Next to capture my attention was the work of “Clair Brewster”. Her works were kind and had this soft presence about them. Her 3 works were all cut from maps of Australia and I loved again that you felt like you could look forever and as long as you kept looking the art pieces would keep unfolding and sharing their secrets with you. One element that I truly loved about Claire’s work was the shadows that were created from the cut outs of her work. It almost looked as though the birds (in “This world is not enough”) were flying out of the paper.

Spots, Dots and all kinds of colours was next to captured my attention. Artist Lizzie Buckmaster Dove hand cut paint swatch cards to create her ever so stunning “Month of Moons”. I loved how striking and ‘punchy’ Lizzie’s work was. A real show stopper and attention grabber.

And last but not least was the ever so whimsical and romantic works created by Emma Van Leest. Emma’s works were charming and made me feel as though I had been whisked to a far away kingdom where there are kings and queens who held grand balls. I love that when you look at Emma’s work it seems as though her work is moving…as though the breeze is flowing and the garden and chandeliers are silently swaying.

I left this showcase of work with wonder in my heart, as I had seen the even greater ability between the hands of the creator and the fragility and vulnerability of paper and how paper has limitless potential to display and create beauty.

This display of art works is a must see for any admirer of paper and all things beautiful.

Visit Elise Maree’s blog to view her stunning paper works

Make a garland with Kitiya Palaskas

Shape and colour are two things that have constantly inspired me as a designer.  I’m following on from last month’s project with another vivid and geometric DIY. If you’re like me and love planning a party, you’ll know that it’s the decorations that tie everything together! I’ll slave away for days on intricately constructed bits and pieces to make my party special. Something I’ve always found handy is to have a box of colourful bunting and garlands tucked away that I can pull out and reuse at each party – they really fill out a room and add instant cheer. This garland project is SO simple and easy to make. You could whip up a collection of different coloured strands in no time and use them again and again at all your parties.

You will need

Shape template
Coloured or patterned card stock
A sewing machine
Colored sewing thread (or twine, optional)
Hole punch (optional)

Step 1

Use the templates provided to cut 15 of each shape from coloured card. You could also use the shape template from last month’s tutorial if you want.

Step 2

Use a sewing machine to sew a line through each shape. Do not cut the thread after each shape, just pull it until there is approximately 3cm thread between the previous shape and the new one. I would suggest having a separate needle for sewing paper, as it can blunt the needle. Keep one in your sewing box specially for paper and change it each time.

Alternative to sewing
If you don’t have a sewing machine, don’t worry! Simply punch a hole at the top and bottom of each shape and connect each with twine or string, knotting the string through each hole.

Kitiya Palaskas is a craft-based designer and creative workshop tutor based in Sydney. View her work/read her blog.

Mr Yen talks Valérie Buess

Valérie Buess creates objects and sculptures from all different types of paper, with astounding results! – she uses paper as her material, which she then manipulates using various techniques to create a variety of different forms and shapes. Valérie’s pieces are great objects in their own right, but I also think they make stunning images for photographs.

Valérie’s use of colour and tone has a very striking impact (as in the image above) plus the little peek of typography on the rolled up pieces adds a nice little surprise when you look closely. The way that she creates shapes within shapes changes how you view paper and the paper “threads” above are a great example of this.

The mix of colour and form in the image above give the illusion of movement, like a sea creature moving in the water, or some organism under a microscope! I love all her pieces as they really make you think about the possibilities of paper. Which is your favourite piece?

You can find more work by Valérie Buess here.

All images copyright of Valérie Buess.

Mr Yen (also known as Jonathan Chapman) studied at Leeds College of Art and gained a BA HONS in Graphic Design. After leaving University in 2010 he had the opportunity to work on a few freelance design projects for companies such as Computer Arts Magazine and LYNX. In between freelance projects he creates hand cut papercut artwork that is for sale here. Visit him online at  and

Mr Yen talks Daniele Papuli

Daniele Papuli creates objects and sculptures from paper with varying techniques…she creates practical, beautiful and fascinating objects, with some being made up from complex layers and folds of paper.

The subtle use of colour and tone emphasise the shape and form of her pieces, with some being practical, (such as the pieces in the first image) and others that are just purely beautiful sculptures! Daniele creates lots of objects that could be used in everyday life too, such as the paper “vases” – but she also creates a variety of sculptural pieces that I would to have a small collection of!

I really admire the way she uses paper to create seemingly ordinary pieces of design with a very ingenious twist! Have you ever tried to make something like this using only paper?

You can find more work by Daniele Papuli here.

 All images copyright of Daniele Papuli.

Mr Yen (also known as Jonathan Chapman) studied at Leeds College of Art and gained a BA HONS in Graphic Design. After leaving University in 2010 he had the opportunity to work on a few freelance design projects for companies such as Computer Arts Magazine and LYNX. In between freelance projects he creates hand cut papercut artwork that is for sale here. Visit him online at  and

Alice in Paperland with Shannon Morton

I am completely in love with all of the beautiful paper products inspired by the magical world of Alice in Wonderland. There are just so many incredibly talented artists out there! I hope you enjoy this round-up as much as I enjoyed researching it!

1 “Global affair” collage by Peter Clark |
2 “High Tea” paper sculpture by Benja Harney |
3 “Alice, A Mad Tea Party” book sculpture by Su Blackwell |
4 Alice in Wonderland DIY paper doll |
5 Paper cup and saucer by Cecilia Levy |
6 “Alice Kid Gloves” by Jennifer Collier |
7 “White Rabbit” print |
8 “We’re All Mad Here” poster |

Shannon x

Shannon Morton has spent the last 15 years working in the publishing industry and has been the Art Director of many magazines including Donna Hay magazine in Australia and Livingetc magazine in the UK. She now runs her own graphic design company and enjoys creating lovely things for people and their businesses.

Visit Shannon at and

Mr Yen talks Kevin Stanton

For this weeks guest post I thought I would introduce you to the papercut artwork created by Kevin Stanton. Kevin creates paper cut artwork and illustrations to be used for a variety of contexts such as book covers and posters. You can see in Kevin’s creations that he has an obvious interest in all things flora and fauna, which shows through in his designs!

In the image above, you can see the delicate and detailed layers that create a whole image, which is how most of Kevin’s work is created. The colours, and the order they are placed in, can dramatically effect the impact the image has, which I think is a very clever way of using a simple material such as paper!

Kevin’s pieces are used for a variety of contexts and he explores a range of themes and concepts with his work. A particular project of his that I think is quite beautiful and very artistic is his range of designs he has started to create to represent different types of Tarot cards. You can see one of these in the first image above and the rest of them can be seen here.

All images copyright of Kevin Stanton.


Mr Yen (also known as Jonathan Chapman) studied at Leeds College of Art and gained a BA HONS in Graphic Design. After leaving University in 2010 he had the opportunity to work on a few freelance design projects for companies such as Computer Arts Magazine and LYNX. In between freelance projects he creates hand cut papercut artwork that is for sale here. Visit him online at  and