切り絵 – 蛙と妖精
Today I would like to introduce you to another paper cutout (kirie) work, The Fairy and the Frog Prince.
I love frogs. When I was a kid, I often used to stay at my cousin’s house, which was surrounded by rice fields. At night, the sound of the frogs was so loud, I could barely sleep! I especially loved the Japanese Tree Frogs, and I used to catch them in the fields so that I could observe them. I loved watching them up close and I would lose track of time. Before I knew it, I was being called for dinner and it was time to release them.
The rice field fields around my cousin’s house have almost all disappeared now and you can no longer hear the cacophony of frogs on summer nights.
The Making of The Fairy and the Frog Prince
As I intended to put this cutout onto a background, I was able to do a rough sketch directly onto the black paper. If I wasn’t adding a background, I would use a template instead because, of course, I wouldn’t want the pencil marks to show. The frog I sketched is actually a Tonosama Frog, which translates as Lord Frog. Unfortunately, the English name, Black-spotted Pond Frog, is not so grand!
Paper Cutout (Kirie)
Done! I did the cutout with an art (design) knife.
Hand Cutting Versus Bother Scan ‘N Cut
Next, I tried using Brother’s cutting machine, Scan N’ Cut. Rather than using a data file, I scanned my original kirie and cut it on the machine. In the photo, the hand-cut original is above and the Scan N’ Cut version is below.
To be honest, I still had to hand-cut some small areas that the machine couldn’t manage but I could have lived with the cut it made. The difference is that it took 3 minutes to complete with the machine compared to an hour and a half by hand! 😱
Paper Cutout & Washi Paper
I added a washi backing to the kirie because I wanted to add some colour to the cutout.
I wanted to add some words so I asked my husband for some ideas. After some thought, he gave me this phrase, ‘the once and future prince’. It’s a mixture of ‘The Once and Future King’ book about King Arthur, and the Brother’s Grimm fairytale, ‘The Frog Prince’.
The sentiment was written by hand and I used Distress Ink to give it an aged effect.
何か言葉を入れたくて主人に相談。キングアーサーの物語とグリム童話のカエルの王子様から The once and future prince （かつてのそして将来の王かな）に決定しました。偶然ですが殿様蛙にはピッタリ？
手書きで文字入れして Distress Ink でオールド加工しました。
Distress Ink Background for the Paper Cutout
Unfortunately, I couldn’t do it very well because I ran out of white ink! I would like to try it again when I buy some more ink.
Finally, I mounted everything on white card stock. Seeing it now, together with the background, I think it would have been better if I had used a brighter washi paper for the wings of the fairy.
カッティングマシン Cutting Machine
This is the machine I use. I won it in a magazine competition a couple of years ago. Sadly, I haven’t really used it as much as I should. The truth is, I’m still a bit analogue! I want to get better at using it because it offers so many possibilities and it saves a lot of time!
There is a newer model than my machine. It is very convenient because it can send and receive data via wireless LAN.