It's a cut apart

It's a cut apart

Unique hobbies

It's a cut apart

Three years ago, Agnisha Ghosh came across a page on Facebook called ‘Paper Panda’. A paper crafting enthusiast, she was mesmerised by the minimalism of the intricate and detailed cuts. Plain sheets of paper were turned into beautiful designs and she couldn’t stop thinking about the art. It didn’t take long after that for her to pick up the technique of carving paper into elaborate designs.

“I used to quill before this, but that took a back seat when I found paper cutting,” she says. Since she grew up with art, it wasn’t much of a struggle to pick up on the technique. “I have my parents to thank for this; they enrolled me in art classes since I was a kid. Many people who enjoy paper art can’t draw themselves so they have to rely on pre-prepared designs, but I never had that problem. Once I learnt the basics, I started making designs myself.”

It’s easy to underestimate and overlook something so simple but the art of paper cutting is tedious and only those with utmost patience and dedication can do it. As Agnisha mentioned earlier, it’s not necessary to know drawing to be good at this, it’s only a bonus. The important thing is to persevere, she says. “At first, I bought and printed designs off ‘Paper Panda’. I also get the other equipment from there. Once I got the hang of it, I was on my own. There are kits for beginners but I didn’t need that because I had some idea about paper art.”

Explaining the process and the materials needed, Agnisha adds, “You need thick paper that is anywhere between 150 to 200 grams per square metre. Anything lighter will crumple or tear easily. Also, it’s important to have many blades. People think having knives is enough but the blades are more important. You also need a board to work on so that you don’t destroy your furniture. It’s a minimalistic art form because once you draw your design on paper, with pencil, you just have to cut it.”

But there’s a catch — there’s a lot of pre-planning involved. “The main thing to remember is to connect all the cuts. If you aren’t careful, bits of the design could separate when you cut it. You have to visualise the design as it will be when it’s getting cut. There have been times when I have finished half the cutting and I’ll make a mistake and have to start over,” she says.

She also elaborates on the importance of blades. “One design can take up to 7 to 8 hours, depending on its intricacy. And blades don’t stay sharp for more than 20 to 25 minutes. So, I tend to buy blades in bulk; blunt blades can ruin the design.”

After making the designs, what does she do with them? “You can make anything from that — greeting cards, customised frames, bookmarks... And it’s a continuous learning process so there’s always something new that comes out of such techniques.”

According to Agnisha, paper cutting art is her way of keeping calm. As a full-time professional who travels a lot, she finds this extremely relaxing. “And it has taught me be patient, focussed and to persevere, no matter what.”

(Agnisha can be contacted on