Like many writers, I am a “paper person,” ever susceptible to seduction by stationery, postcards, posters, prints, books, magazines, and Moleskines.
So when author, artist, and brand advisor Amy Flurry—then a freelance writer and stylist whose work had appeared in Lucky, InStyle, Condé Nast Traveler, etc., etc., etc.—emailed me from her offices outside Atlanta in the fall of 2009 to tell me about her latest project, called Paper-Cut-Project, I was intrigued. (Editor’s Note: For Amy’s expert insights on how to tempt members of the press into producing stories about their work—something she clearly knows something about—read this book.)
“I’m coming to New York next month to work on something exciting,” she teased. “It’s kind of a secret, so you have to promise not to forward, but I will share one picture to give you a clue.”
As it turned out, my fellow scribe’s latest project wasn’t word-related, at all: It was, in fact, the kind of stuff that leaves you a little speechless.
In 2009, Amy teamed with Atlanta-based artist Nikki Nye, previously the founder of a cutting-edge Buckhead fashion boutique, to form a creative partnership born of their shared love of fashion, art, and industry.
I met up with Amy and Nikki when they came to Manhattan that fall, and reported on Paper-Cut-Project’s first big commission in a weekly online column I was writing for New York Spaces, called “The Muse,” and in “Clique,” the monthly cultural roundup I produced for the title’s print magazine: In January 2010, Paper-Cut-Project made its simultaneous debut in Atlanta and in New York’s rapidly transforming Meatpacking District, animating the storefront windows and shop displays at Jeffrey Atlanta and Jeffrey New York.
“The visual director at Jeffrey said there was just something about our project he loved and he liked taking chances, so we worked really hard not to let him down,” Amy said. For weeks, the collaborators cut, arranged, and glued layers and layers of white paper, working round-the-clock, like chic modern-day incarnations of Edward Scissorhands.
“I love the straightforward nature of dragging an X-Acto along the paper, of making these fine cuts…We have calluses from this gig, but we’re pretty proud of them.”—Amy Flurry of Paper-Cut-Project
“Nikki let me in on her paper world and secrets, which is a huge gift and took a lot of trust. I love the straightforward nature of dragging an X-Acto along the paper, of making these fine cuts. It’s a nice complement to the more cerebral act of writing,” Amy observed. “We have calluses from this gig, but we’re pretty proud of them.”
And well they should be: The creative team’s carefully constructed cut-paper wigs, masks, floral arrangements, and fantasy sculptures have since graced fashion runways, storefronts, art galleries, auction houses, and editorial commissions for visionary companies around the world, including Hermès, Cartier, Valentino, Christie’s auction house, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, as part of their blockbuster “Hollywood Costume” exhibition.
Cut to the Present: It’s the second day of Spring 2018. And World Poetry Day. And Women’s History Month. It’s snowing in New York City. I am sitting in my Hudson Valley studio musing about greenhouses and Matisse’s magical Snow Flowers and keeping an eye out for the predicted Nor’easter to arrive outside my window, when, what do I spot in my Instagram feed but @amyflurry’s post of a favorite floral-embellished Paper-Cut-Project sculpture in the form of an archival print from Paper-Cut-Project’s “SuperWomen” series, in a beautiful giltwood frame. Paper flowers. Fashion. Art. And fun. All cut-and-pasted together. There’s already something poetic about all that. Happy Spring! —m.e.g.
To purchase Paper-Cut-Project prints or discuss a commission:
- A striking collection of Paper-Cut-Project limited-edition prints is available directly from the artist/entrepreneurs, Amy Flurry and Nikki Nye, at www.paper-cut-project.com.
- And a special collection of prints featuring the team’s “SuperWomen” creations is available to the trade from Zoe Bios Creative.
For more on Amy Flurry’s editorial and consulting work and Recipe for Press and Recipe for Press: Designer Edition (which I happened to have the honor of editing), visit amyflurry.com and recipeforpress.com.