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Elements of Paper Sculpture for the Serious Artist

27 May, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 28 May, 2017 @ 4:00 pm

| See below for prices
Mothers Heart with Artist MR

10am – 4pm both days Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 May 2017
Members price: $140. Please log in to receive this discount.

Ray Besserdin is the owner of Australia’s only Paper Sculpture artist gallery in Black Rock, Victoria. As part of the Townsville Artist in Residence (AIR) program, Ray will be travelling to Townsville for a week long residency and deliver a two day workshop for local artists. Ray will conduct a skill development workshop for artists wanting explore the endless potentials of paper as a serious art medium.

Day 1
The program will begin with an introduction to understanding paper types, some methods of production, and origins from around the world. By examining samples artists will learn to recognise the difference between machine made, cold pressed, hot pressed; wood fibre, cotton fibre, rag and mulberry to mention a few. A word has to be said about paper chemistry and a proper understanding of the term “acid free” as it applies to choosing right and wrong material combinations for archival outcomes. (Adjunct to this will be a mention of adhesives chemistry).

The program then enters into some basic exercises on the mechanical characteristics of paper that determine its behaviour in folding or curving. This is fundamental to understanding how to construct with paper.

Working with paper to achieve surface effects with pressure and destructive techniques (distorting, tearing and stretching) is the next exercise and as part of that will be required to make a “forming board” that will be used in learning moulding techniques. Exploring the use of tools beyond basic cutting will be a process that continues throughout the two day exercises.

Artists will next be shown templating. This is an essential skill for the accurate reproduction of any concept that begins from a 2D drawing. “How do you convert a drawing into a 3D sculpture?” The principles are answered in this exercise.

Cutting and forming paper pieces so they take a 3D form, and the process of assembling is last part before we begin with constructing an actual sculpture.

Day 2
The day will begin with a brief revision of Day 1 principles and then we launch into a full day of applying the learned exercises by building a copy of a prototype design provided. A brief introduction and the artists will then work at their own pace through the steps with my individual guidance as required.

From a flat sheet of paper, artists will finish the day with a free standing, abstract form paper sculpture. They will have the principles to enable them to continue developing their works having an understanding from the ground up of what paper is and how to work with it to create works of art that last.


What to bring: (as close as possible from the suppliers available)

  • 30 – 50cm steel ruler
  • A pack of cotton make-up remover pads
  • Swann-Morton #3 Scalpel handle and 6 -10 #11 blades to fit
  • A small “snap blade” cutting knife like Olfa or Stanley
  • HB pencil and white vinyl eraser like Staedtler (Do not use a cheap no brand eraser as they are inclined to smudge)
  • A3 cutting mat
  • UHU glue stick
  • UHU Universal Adhesive in the yellow tube (125ml tube if possible)
  • Helmar or Craftsmart Acid Free “white glue”, 125ml
  • Norton Bear Brand or 3M roll of 35 mm general purpose masking tape
  • A small squeezable bottle for water, preferably with a pointy tipped nozzle.
    (Its purpose is to administer small amounts of water to the cotton pads, but not to soak them, so alternative water dispensing handy devices are also OK)

Other specialist materials will be provided and are included in the cost of this workshop.

Ray Besserdin Short Bio
Conceiving his art in 1989, Ray combines his academic background in science to ensure his art has the archival qualities to last for the enjoyment of many generations into the future, whilst also proving to be a trustworthy investment. His impressive career includes corporate clients such as Macquarie Bank, the Northern Territory Government of Australia, and Amcor. Also a number of private commissions currently hang in London, New York, Germany, Sweden and New Zealand.

See Ray’s work:


27 May, 2017 @ 10:00 am
28 May, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Studio Downstairs
482 Flinders Street
Townsville, Queensland 4810 Australia
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4772 7109