good on paper

October 24, 2013 in just drawn that way, rock your hobby by editor


You don’t need to be a child to get lost in Su Blackwell’s cut-paper fairytales.

The work of British artist Su Blackwell is nothing short of magical. Her folklore-themed dioramas, crafted from the pages of old storybooks, are so meticulously rendered that it’s easy to get lost in her paper-made wonderlands. Blackwell’s attention to detail is jaw-dropping and if we could have one wish today, it’d be to shrink down to Lilliputian-size and explore her little mystical forests and enchanted castles first-hand.

Before plunging into a new piece, whether personal or commercial, Blackwell gets well-acquainted with the book and then painstakingly carves little scenes from the pages, a process she describes as “tediously slow”. She veers towards stories that were childhood favorites, like Alice in Wonderland and works by Hans Christian Anderson, and prefers books which already have illustrations that she can reuse in her sculptures. ‘I start by reading the book and if there’s a particular chapter that I want to create I’ll read that over and over again. Then I have an image in my mind of the sort of thing I want to create and I start cutting into the book with a scalpel,” she explained to But she won’t delve any further into how her paper gardens grow. ‘I can’t go into the process too much because it will take some of the magic away!’

Blackwell’s book, which would make a fantastic holiday gift, The Fairy-Tale Princess: Seven Classic Stories from the Enchanted Forest is available on

su_blackwell_riding_hoodLittle Red Riding Hood

su-blackwell-the-girl-in-the-woodsThe Girl in the Woods

su_blackwell_snow-whiteSnow White in the Woods

su_blackwell_ravenThe Raven

su_blackwell_snow-queen_trainThe Snow Queen and The Orient Express

Check out this charming video of Blackwell working on a project for Crabtree & Evelyn.

(At the top: The Twelve Dancing Princesses)