Exercise 2.2

Block Silhouette

I have been looking forward to starting this exercise since discovering that I don’t, in fact, hate collage. Rather, that I really like simple collage and that if I approach the assignment with the perspective of minimalism and my favourite parts of scrapbooking, then I’ll love the process AND the product. 

Now, I discovered that I didn’t have great scissors on hand but I do love making work within restrictive parameters. I saw the kitchen scissors as a great challenge to create work within limitations. In my experience, setting restrictions has led to the most fulfilling creativity. It also helps eliminate Paralysis of Possibility. 

I taped together 4 sheets of printer paper to create a sheet large enough to generate several silhouette shapes of the tea cup and sugar/creamer containers. I explored various shapes and when creating duplicates of a shape, I would turn the source item so that I had to observe it from a new perspective. 

Using the kitchen scissors definitely had limitations in that the blades were very long and therefore, the tighter turns were more difficult. However, the blade length lent well to following long side edges. 

In making most of the shapes, I’d rough out the basic silhouette to free the smaller piece of paper from the original one, allowing me more ease of cutting – particularly around the tighter curves.

I produced several shapes of the cup, creamer and sugar bowl. I also made the mug in more than one size. By working from different perspectives, I was able to focus on “drawing” (with the scissors) what I saw in front of my rather than what I knew to be there (out of sight). 

After being inspired by numerous collage artists online, I took this opportunity to use some of their concepts with the materials I had on hand in creating these works. When making the mug shape, I traced it onto the paper as I was quite happy with how it had turned out in the first half of the exercise. The flowers and all of their components were cut freehand. 

Having been pleased with the mug shapes and wanting to explore layering and repetition, I created this image. I really wanted the depth of the mug shape to be made clear so I did introduce a fine sharpie line into each shape to show the rim of the cup. I layered the mugs such that the colour beneath filled the hole of the handle. It makes me think of a diner or honestly, my kitchen when the coffee is being consumed almost faster than it’s being brewed. 

I really enjoyed this exercise and would do more work like this again. It was a lot of fun layering shapes and creating simple stories told in silhouettes. The patterned paper held some nostalgia for me as scrapbooking was something I used to spend a lot of time doing so I very much enjoyed that part of the experience. I am looking forward to more collage work but maybe with more appropriate cutting tools.