Anna Cook

Anna’s previous experience as a framer inspired her to play around and create art with depth. She wanted to produce mini scenes that people could look into and explore. 

Anna’s creations, inspired by nature and the arts and crafts movement, are made by layering up pieces of paper that have been hand cut then moulded, curled and embossed to form beautiful, delicate woodland scenes. 

“I am a self taught paper cutter with a background in design and printmaking. I draw inspiration from contemporary surface pattern and the beauty of the natural world which I combine with a fascination for old botanical drawings.

My work is created by cutting into single layers of tonal paper then moulding and curling the designs before adding the detail and setting the piece into deep box frames. I strive to capture the personality of the subjects in their natural habitat”

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"Papercutting is a really labour intensive practice that requires an enormous amount of concentration and a steady hand.  With a bit of patience it produces beautiful results, backache, and a touch of eye strain - I love it!

I always start a piece by deciding on the subject. Over the years I’ve found Foxes, Hares and Blackbirds to be amongst the favourites. 

After planning and hand drawing the design onto the reverse of a selection of tonal papers, I get cutting. The process takes a few hours and several cups of tea for each layer. After which I use a selection of nifty tools to mould, curl and emboss the detailed foliage. "

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Process

"Papercutting is a really labour intensive practice that requires an enormous amount of concentration and a steady hand. With a bit of patience it produces beautiful results, backache, and a touch of eye strain - I love it!

I always start a piece by deciding on the subject. Over the years I’ve found Foxes, Hares and Blackbirds to be amongst the favourites and, although the jury’s out with Crows and Mice, I make them anyway!

After planning and hand drawing the design onto the reverse of a selection of tonal papers, I get cutting. The process takes a few hours and several cups of tea for each layer. After which I use a selection of nifty tools to mould, curl and emboss the detailed foliage. After making the body of the subject I make a deep box frame and carefully assemble the layers of paper into it

Below you can watch a time-lapse video of me putting together my recent piece ‘Beady Eyed’. After cutting several layers of the foliage, leaving the outline of the bird as a base, I individually cut each component ready to attach."

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"Creating my original ‘3D’ pieces can take days, sometimes weeks, so I also produce originals cut out of a single sheet of paper. These single sheet pieces can be scanned and then sent off to be reproduced using a laser cutter. Some of these are still hand finished with extra touches of colour or texture, but the process enables me to offer a broader range of products including greetings cards, limited edition prints and lanterns."

Exhibitons

  • York Open Studios for the past 3 years, which is an annual community arts event which represents the best of artists and makers living or working within a ten-mile radius of the city. Each year York Open Studios provides an opportunity for the public to visit committee selected artists’ studios and exhibitions.
  • Art&York for the past 4 years. Art&York supports artists to make a healthy livelihood from the sale of their work; helps launch newcomers into selling their work or commissions successfully and provide the public access to artists work from across a wide range of artistic disciplines.
  • Saltaire Inspired for the past 2 years. Saltaire Inspired is an ambitious arts charity, creating quality contemporary arts events in unique settings.
  • Crafted by hand for the past 3 years. Crafted by hand is a contemporary design led art and craft events in Masham North Yorkshire.
  • Art in the Pen for the past 3 years. Art in the Pen is a well established and highly regarded art and craft fair that runs each year in Thirsk and Skipton Auction Marts. 
  • Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair for the past 2 years. The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair is a curated showcase of designer-makers and craft artists, handpicked by an independent panel of craft experts to give you the best in cutting-edge design and beautiful craftsmanship.
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Pop Up Gallery

For the past 2 years Anna has taken part in a  Pop Up Gallery hosted by the Charity Skippko which was most recently exhibited at indie hot spot Gillygate, in York.

The Pop Up Gallery enabled fans of her work to pop in and say ‘hi’, order bespoke commissions and purchase original works, greetings cards and gifts

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Works

Original Hand Cuts

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Lazer Cuts

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Product Application

The intricacy of Anna's work would translate well onto many 2D and 3D products with the layered structure of work adding a delicate beauty to any greetings cards, as well as Jigsaws as her linework would produce a fun and intimate pattern to piece together.

Further applications involve stickers, with the potential for a collection full of animals to really heighten the intricate nature of her individual animals cuts. Other stationary-based produces such as calendars and playing cards would also be a very accessible application as it takes advantage of the coherent nature of her work that involves natural forms, earthy colours, and recognisable subject matters.

Anna's work would also translate well onto packaging, such as for perfumes and makeup, as well as her work being printed onto items such as wash-bags. Again, the intricate nature of her work would translate well onto luxurious and delicate products such as jewellery and jewellery boxes.

Anna has also experimented with applying her work to furniture as she has produced beautiful lazercut lamps, as shown below. Her work would also translate well onto cushions as the layered nature would add both a unique and interactive design, as well as frosted mirrors and tea towels.

Greetings Cards

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Lanterns

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Christmas Baubles

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