The leaf pictured at the top of this post isn’t a leaf at all. It’s made of paper and is an exquisite example of the Japanese art of papercutting is called Kirie (切り絵, meaning ‘cut paper’). All of the extraordinarily delicate examples of the Kirie seen here were handmade by a self-taught Japanese artist named Akira Nagaya, whose skills were first discovered about 30 years ago while he was working in a sushi shop.

"One of his first tasks was to learn sasabaran, a technique to create decorations by cutting slices into bamboo leaves. Back at home, and recalling his boss’s demonstration, Nagaya tried to practice using paper and a utility knife. He found that the technique came quite naturally, and he enjoyed doing it.”

Years later Nagaya was still making his intricate paper objects when he opened his very own restaurant and decided to display his kirie “for fun.” When a local newspaper showed up to review his restaurant they spotted his creations and encouraged him to display them in a gallery.

“That was the first time I even considered what I had been doing as art,” recalls Nagaya.

Head over to Akira Nagaya’s Facebook page to check out many more of his marvelous cut paper creations.

[via Spoon & Tamago]

Buffalo, New York-based paper artist Maude White painstakingly hand-cuts exquisite depictions of animals (particularly birds), people, leaves and other subjects. Each piece requires thousands of precise, tiny cuts, and some of them contain even more delicate images hidden within the larger designs.

"I have great respect for paper. When I cut, the thin membranous material reveals its strength to me. No matter how small my cuts the paper holds. There is a certain comfort in that, a comfort I enjoy. I feel that there are very few things in the world as reliable and constant as paper. Paper is everywhere and it has been telling stories for centuries. By respecting and honoring paper for what it is, and not considering it a stepping-stone to something greater, I feel like I am communicating some of the pleasure it brings to me. I am not creating for Art’s sake. I am creating for Paper’s sake, to make visible the stories that every piece of paper attempts to communicate to us."

In September 2014 Maude White will be showing some of her work at the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative as part of an exhibition entitled Birds I’ve Been.

To check out more of her work, visit White’s online portfolio and keep up with her latest creations, including fascinating process photos, via her Instagram acount. She also offers some of her creations for purchase via Etsy at Brave Bird Paperwork.

[via Colossal]

Amsterdam-based artist Cedric Laquieze (previously featured here) recently completed a fascinating new series of his exquisite taxidermy Fairies. These delicate sculptures are primarily composed of parts from many different insect species, but if you look closely you’ll notice bones, seeds and even a few scorpion parts as well.

Visit Cedric Laquieze’s blog for many additional images and to check out some of his other enchanting creations.

[via Cedric Laquieze]

Let’s take a moment to appreciate more of exquisitely awesome floral Kanzashi hair ornaments created by Japanese artist Sakae (previously featured here). Each delicate piece is handcrafted from resin and, depending upon their complexity, takes between 3 and 30 days to complete.

To view even more of these magnificent wearable resin flowers, visit Sakae’s Facebook page as well as her Flickr account.

[via Colossal]

Born in Hong Kong and now based in Pittsburgh, PA, artist Bovey Lee painstakingly hand cuts astonishingly intricate designs and scenes on large sheets of thin Chinese rice paper. These mesmerizing works are as awesomely detailed as they are delicate. Look closely and you’ll discover cityscapes hidden among leaves and grass or cars driving along what you first took to be blades of grass. Practically weightless all by them selves, Lee mounts her fragile cut paper pieces on silk before they’re hung on gallery walls.

Visit Bovey Lee’s cut paper gallery to check out more of her amazing cut paper creations.

[via Colossal]

Leaf-cutting Artist Omid Asadi was born in Iran and now lives in Sale, Greater Manchester, England where he gathers fallen leaves and uses a craft knife and needle to transform them into exquisitely beautiful and expressive works of art. He even recreated The Scream by Edvard Munch on a leaf.

"Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself.I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name - if they were called flowers we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another Life and make art from them."

Visit Omid Asadi’s website and Facebook page to check out more of his hand-cut leaves. You can also follow him here on Tumblr at omidasadi.

[via Bored Panda]

For even more awesome leaf-related artwork, check out our posts about Lorenzo Duran Manuel Silva, Susanna Bauer, and LadyTinuz.

Artist Rogan Brown creates incredibly elaborate and delicate paper sculptures using layers of hand-cut watercolor paper. His latest piece, entitled Outbreak, is “based on the smallest structures found within the human body: cells, microbes, pathogens, and neurons.” Brown spent 4 months painstakingly designing, cutting and assembling this awesomely intricate piece, which he describes as an exploration “of the microbiological sublime.”

Here Brown explains a bit about his creation process:

"I am inspired in part by the tradition of scientific drawing and model making, and particularly the work of artist-scientists such as Ernst Haeckel. But although my approach involves careful observation and detailed “scientific” preparatory drawings, these are always superseded by the work of the imagination; everything has to be refracted through the prism of the imagination, estranged and in some way transformed."

Further proof that Art + Science = Awesome

Visit Rogan Brown’s website to check out more of his fascinating artwork.

[via Colossal]

Somerville, MA-based artist Judith Klausner (previously featured here) has developed a delightful line of jewelry based on From Scratch, her series of food-based art for which she combines food and traditional handicrafts. Klausner has adapted the process she used to make her Cereal Samplers, cross-stitch samplers made of Corn Chex cereal, to create wearable handmade monogram necklaces.

"Each letter is delicately hand cross-stitched onto a piece of Corn Chex cereal, embedded in resin, and finished with sterling silver plated findings on an 18" sterling silver chain.

It seems fairly certain that no two pieces of Chex are exactly alike, so these exquisite necklaces aren’t just unusual, they’re also unique. If you would like a personalized cereal necklace and/or know someone else who’d love one too, all you have to do is visit Klausner’s ArtSnacks Etsy shop and pick a letter and thread color. She also accepts custom orders for pieces made of 2 or 3 initials.

Visit ArtSnacks to view more cross-stitched Chex necklaces and Judith Klausner’s website to check out more of her awesome artwork.

San Francisco-based artist and architect Tiffanie Turner creates enormous, elaborate paper flowers that look like something Alice might’ve encountered in Wonderland. Each beautiful blossom is made of countless layers of delicate crepe paper, measures nearly three feet in diameter and takes anywhere from 35 to 80 hours to assemble.

"My work in paper stems from my background as an architect, particularly my interest in how things are made and the use of repetitive elements, along with my lifelong obsession with flowers and botanical drawings. The exploration of scale plays heavily into everything I do, and the organized chaos and rhythms in nature make the heads of flowers an excellent case study for me."

Turner has a solo show of her giant paper blossoms, entitled Heads, currently on exhibit at Rare Device in San Francisco through May 28, 2014. Assuming you live in the area, this sounds like a wonderful Mother’s Day destination.

[via Colossal and My Modern Metropolis]

Just in time for Easter, here’s a brand new entry from the Department of Extraordinary Eggshell Artists: Polish artist Piotr Bockenheim spends countless hours using a tiny electric drill, an awesomely delicate touch, and immeasurable patience to turn goose egg shells into exquisite sculptures.

Head over to Piotr’s DeviantART gallery to view more.

[via Colossal]