It’s always such a joy to find an amazing crafter and then have the opportunity to chat with them for a bit. Karin from Interwingle has some of the most intricate pop-up designs and I am so excited to share her world with you!
Here’s what Karin has to say about her art:
How long have you been making pop-up cards?
I think it has been about 5 years. I have not fully utilized the medium or been more formally a pop-up creator until the last 2 years. I dabbled in pop-ups over my lifetime, in graphic arts school I created a pop-up business card, that was a while ago ;).
What is your favorite piece?
I think my favorite pop-up is usually the one I am working on. Right now I love my Gross Love card. The was true labor. There are 5 layers that come together to create the image you see.
Where do you get your inspiration? How do you come up with ideas for new cards?
I wish I knew my inspirations. Lots of times it isn’t anything earth shattering. I may be inspired by an upcoming holiday or event. I love making Valentine’s cards. Back to my Gross Love card, that has a more interesting inspiration story. I friend of mine lost her 7-year battle with Breast Cancer about a month before Valentine’s Day. Her parents are simply bizarre, I won’t elaborate further, but to the surprise of all of her friends her parents informed us that they donated her body to science. Her body was actually donated to the college where she took gross anatomy, her professor still works there, he taught her and is now going to be “studying” her. Now don’t get me wrong I think it is a noble thing to donate your body to science but this just seemed weird and it seemed she would have rather been donated to a place were they study cancer, not muscles (it is a physical/occupational therapy school) and well, she didn’t donate her own body.
I couldn’t stop thinking of her on a dissection table and I needed to replace that image in my mind. There were no calling hours no casket at the funeral she was just gone. She was a very loving creative soul. I made this card to honor her. I made the bones more realistic and used a heart shape for to represent her heart. I made the heart the deep red because even though her body may be gone the love and laughter she poured into the world is what will last, it is what all her friends still feel and I prefer to think of her body as clean and white as if shrouded and at rest somehow. This card is what emerged out of all those swirling thoughts.
What is the most unusual request or custom order you’ve ever received?
People usually order my cards as-is aside from color changes from time to time.
Have you ever used these paper cutting techniques in any other type of craft?
I do paper cutting of all kinds and have applied them to all sorts of crafts. I make lamps and lampshades that are completely fashioned from paper. The cut paper is beautiful with light shining through it. I create window valances, again it is lovely with the sun shining through. My cut paper designs were recently featured with 10 other artists in a book published by Lark Books called Paper Cuts: 35 Inventive Projects. I am starting to dapple in applying my cut paper designs to clay creations.
What are some designs that you’d like to attempt in the future?
I consider myself a multi-media artist and I want my work to reflect that more. I have a degree in graphic arts as well as a studio art degree in painting and ceramics. I am always interested in new art/craft mediums and I’d like to extend my work beyond cards. I’d like my etsy shop to reflect that as well. Having a 1-year-old limits the time I have to work but I can’t seem to tear myself away from him so the “future” may be farther away than I think! Having him in my life has been absolutely amazing. I would love to create a pop-up book for him. I am working on getting back to painting and I am exploring ways to merge paper cutting and painting to create thought provoking and beautiful images. As stated above I am also experimenting with oven-bake clay to bring some of my designs to life in different manifestations.
I’ve been papercrafting all my life! As a young child, someone showed me how to make a fortune teller (some people call them cootie catchers). Discovering that I could make an actual interactive toy out of a flat piece of paper seemed completely magical. Paper airplanes, origami and pop-up books all demonstrated how paper could be made interactive and dimensional and I’ve been obsessing about the possibilities ever since.
2) Where did you get the idea to start making pop-up and interactive cards and when did you start selling on Etsy?
I didn’t get seriously into interactive cards until I started planning birthday parties for my twin boys — I would spend months planning the celebrations, including designing completely over-the-top interactive invitations. The feedback I got from the cards was so encouraging that I ended up posting them for sale on Etsy a few years ago. Response has been wonderful and amazingly gratifying! I think I probably do it just as much for the validation and positive response I get as for the money it brings in.
3) How do you find design inspiration? What are some of your favorite pieces?
There are many wonderful how-to books about pop-ups available now (here’s a list of some of my favorites: http://mollyleecards.blogspot.com/2008/12/paper-engineering-books-i-love.html). I browse the web constantly, looking for clever ideas — there are a lot of papercrafting geniuses who regularly share their work online.
I really like how the mechanism works on my pop-up birthday cake card (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24754394).
Probably my most gratifying cards are my Three Reasons series of cards, which have different themes, like Three Reasons Why You’re my Superhero (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36203236) and an elegant, more traditional floral theme. This series of cards allows the sender to turn a wheel and write three heartfelt reasons why the recipient is special to them. Of any of my cards, these are the ones where people often send me feedback, telling me how their spouse simply broke down in tears when they read their sentiments.
And my spinning fish invitations are the first invitations that I created (for my boys’ third birthday) are still among my favorites: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=28657799
4) What is one card that you’ve found to be the most popular?
My Drink a Toast Birthday cards are really popular!
They’re also my very favorite cards. When you pull the little lever, Drinking Paul raises his glass in a toast and says “A birthday? I’ll drink… to that!” It never fails to make the recipient smile.
5) What is a design or theme that you’d like to make in future cards? Are there any other unique card styles that you’re looking forward to trying?
I have several ideas that I’m working on right now — it takes a long time for me to post new cards because I’m really picky about my designs. I have a dinosaur-themed birthday party inviation that is nearly done. I have another interactive greeting card that will show images of fish bowls, propane tanks, miltary vehicles, etc. When you open it up, it will read “Many tanks!”