Meg White Studios

About Paper Sculpture


I spent years working in 2-dimensional media - pen and ink, painting, etc. but was frustrated by the mediums. I began working 3-dimensionally after reading an article in HOW Magazine (a graphics arts magazine). The artist in the article was Ajin Noda, a paper sculptor illustrator. He demonstrated the technique of paper sculpture by creating a caricature of Whoopi Goldberg. I was fascinated by the technique, so I gave it a try.

Man at Table was my first piece. After struggling with 2D media for years, working 3D was just so much easier. David Letterman was my second piece and Grey cat my third. Making the paper sculpture is only part of the job, however. In order for it to be used for illustration, it has to be photographed. And, as I was not set up for photography, I had to find someone who was.

After some asking around, I found professional photographer Geoff Carr. With the exception of the Tiger (photographed by Chris Fieldhouse), he photographed all the work I did in paper sculpture. The paper is Canson Mi Tientes colored paper with pastel adding color and depth. While the works started out mounted to a board and were basically bas-relief, after a couple of years I began to push the medium to make completely 3D pieces like the cat and the Tiger. Eventually I became frustrated with the fragility of the paper and began to look for a more permanent material.

It was difficult getting illustration assignments in Louisville so I began going further afield –Cincinnati, Indianapolis, etc. Ultimately I ended up in New York City (thanks to a cousin nearby) and made the rounds of various ad agencies and agents. While I had no trouble seeing people (they enjoyed samples of my work) it was a difficult sale because it was so different.

While in New York City, I discovered the Park Avenue Atrium, an art space in Mid-town Manhattan, owned by Olympia York. It was there my cats and the tiger were displayed in a group show. And while my cats made it back from the show, unfortunately the tiger disappeared out of the show. That was a real hit for me and I didn’t display the paper sculpture for years after that.

I was still working with the paper sculpture, using an agent in New York, when I met Don in 1991. I was working a day job part time selling window treatments and the company was set up in a home show. It was at the show that I met Don. He was set up at the show as well, selling stone sculptures. I was fascinated by the idea of carving stone – at last a permanent medium that wouldn’t be ruined by a little bit of dirt like the paper. I drove out to his studio and tried carving stone and I was hooked. I continued working in paper sculpture for a few years, but eventually I started carving stone full-time.

Back to Paper Sculpture