Meet The Artist: Rochel Schiffrin of Papercuts By Rochel

© Rochel Schiffrin

I am an imaginative hand cut paper artist who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through art. I work in various themes such as nature, abstract and Judaica. Each original design is made from a single sheet of paper using an X-acto knife to meticulously cut out each and every shape by hand. Paper cutting not only reflects the intricate nature with which I enjoy operating, but it also enables me to express deeply rooted ideas and concepts.

I design and create out of my home/studio in Boynton Beach, Florida. However, I discovered my love for cutting paper and experimenting with this unique art form 10 years ago while at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree.

When I cut paper, it is an intuitive and natural reaction for my love of detail, care, and intricacy. As a creative technique, paper cutting is not only cathartic to me, but it also allows me to illustrate concepts and designs that are near and dear to my heart. I hope to continue exploring where this creative art form can take me!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I am an imaginative hand cut paper artist who is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through art. I design and create out of my home/studio in Boynton Beach, Florida. However, I discovered my love for cutting paper and experimenting with this unique art form 10 years ago while at college, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree.

What inspired you to become an artist?

I’ve always been a creative person, and from a very young age I always enjoyed cutting up bits of paper and decorating my surroundings. I grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community and was raised learning Chassidic teachings. After graduating high school, I took the traditional route and went to a Jewish woman’s seminary. I learned there, a deeper appreciation for my religion and how to lead my life through these teachings. While in seminary I also realized my appreciation for the arts, and how I can combine these two passions. In college I rediscovered my love for cutting paper and experimenting with this unique art form.

What is your specialty?

I’m a hand cut paper artist and I work in various themes such as nature, abstract and Judaica. Each original design is hand-drawn and hand-cut from a single sheet of paper using an X-acto knife to meticulously cut out each and every shape by hand.

How and where do you work?

I design and create out of my home/studio in Boynton Beach, Florida. My creative process starts by drawing out my entire design in pencil on the backside of my paper, fitting together each shape like a puzzle. I draw on the backside so that once it is cut I turn it over and there are no visible pencil marks and the cut lines are a lot cleaner and crisper. Once the sketch is complete I cut out each shape, one by one, which takes many hours and a lot of patience. Once all the shapes are cut I turn over the paper to reveal the final design, which I then mount to a contrasting color backing and frame.

What is the most indispensable item in your studio?

My X-acto craft knife helps me turn an ordinary piece of paper into a work of art.

Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?

I work in various themes such as Judaica, nature, mandalas and abstract designs. Since moving to Florida I’ve been especially inspired by the beauty of my natural surroundings.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’ve been working on a lot of custom papercuts and most recently personalized “name” artwork in both Hebrew & English.

What are your favourite items in your current collection?

“Shema Mandala” combines two of my favorite themes, mandalas and “hidden pictures”. Throughout this papercut there are menorahs, chamsas, shofars and chai’s which all combine to create this circular design.

© Rochel Schiffrin

How do you know when a piece is finished?

My creative process starts with sketching the artwork on the piece of paper and then I cut out each shape. The beauty of paper cutting is that once all the shapes are cut out it is final and the piece is complete.

Do you do bespoke work?

Yes. I enjoy creating custom and personalized artwork.

What was the first artwork you ever sold?

My “Neiros” papercut, which was purchased to hang over the Shabbos Candles in the customer’s home.

Which project have you enjoyed working on the most so far?

I enjoy creating every new papercut since it’s like putting together a big puzzle where I fit each shape together to make a cohesive design.

What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?

I hope to continue exploring where this creative art form of papercutting can take me. While also sharing my art on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where people can follow a diary/portfolio of my current artwork. I always strive to instil an uplifting aesthetic throughout all my art that will connect with the viewer/customer.

Where can we find your work? I show and sell my artwork through my Website, Etsy shop, and in various local galleries, vendor shows and boutiques. I also offer custom/personalized designs for every occasion. These can be ordered by contacting me through my website or social media pages. Instagram and Facebook.

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