Have you noticed how modern day artists are increasingly interested in exploring new media? We are clearly living the age of artistic experimentalism, and in many cases the results are actually intriguing. These days, canvas and wood and rock are no longer sufficient as tools of self-expression.
There is a wide proliferation of multi-media techniques… and unlike what you may imagine, this doesn’t necessarily equate with an over-reliance on the new technologies.
As a matter of fact, today we shall present to you the work of an innovative artist whose work exemplifies a different twist on traditional paper cutting techniques. However… rather than using paper, Lorenzo Duran has perfected a very delicate technique that allows him to create the amazing leaf cutouts displayed here. If you’re wondering how such an intricate work is possible, you’ll get your answers by the end of this article.
Bridging the gap between Nature and Art
Lorenzo Duran refers to his art project as “Naturayarte”, or a fusion between nature and art. He has envisioned a creative process that relies mostly on natural materials to create artistic pieces. He seems to think as mother nature as the highest artistic force, and each living being as a template of pure self-expression.
“The colors of a butterfly, mineral glass, a majestic tree, are a form of art that delights the senses” wrote Duran, maintaining communion with nature as his chosen path to experience and elaborate on his personal creativity. For this specific project, he sought to become immersed in a new medium of artistic expression: leaf cutting.
What is the creative process behind these leaf cutouts?
While basing his technique in Chinese and Japanese paper cutting (which the author wholeheartedly admires), he has developed this tradition towards a whole new paradigm of creativeness, in which tree leaves are the prime materials. Duran studied these centenary “Kirigami” techniques as well as the European traditions of “Scherenschnitte”, before developing his own personal take on paper cutting.
Traditionally, paper cutting is based mostly on symmetrical motifs. In his turn, Lorenzo Duran has clearly been exploring diversely organic motifs, as you can see from the pictures illustrating this article. Some of his experiments lean towards pictorial expression, and they are all quite striking for a common reason: the spectacular attention to detail, and the meticulousness of the carvings.
What’s even more impressive, Durán maintains he is still experimenting with this medium, and he feels there is still much more he can achieve from it.
How to achieve such intricate leaf art?
According to the author, his only cutting tool for this project is a scalpel. Before cutting into a leaf though, he relies on extensive preparation and study.
To begin with, he selects and picks leaves with he finds appropriate; determinant factors for this selection include the leaf’s thickness, sturdiness, and shape.
He then washes the leaves, dries them and presses them. Before pressing the leaf, he attaches to it a sketch of the drawing he will later be cutting out.
After some time, when a leaf is pressed, he takes out the scalpel and laboriously carves out the details… a process that can take several days, depending on the complexity of the design.
Once the carving is done, he peels off the leftover paper; this is actually the most delicate part of the process, in which extreme care is required as to know break of the carved leaf.
To achieve the kind of results you can see in this gallery, diligent practice and experimentation was essential; according to the author, the vast majority of his experiments ended up in the trash.
To this day, Lorenzo Duran keeps perfecting this technique; he regularly frames his most accomplished creations for sale, which you can procure by visiting his official website.