Hey PorkChops, you’ve been selling at the Fairy Tale Fair for a couple of years now. Remind us about yourself and your brand.
Hey, my name is Ben but I work under the name PorkChops and I’m a papercut artist based in Brighton. I started papercutting 5 years ago after picking up a book about it from Brighton library. I started by cutting out some of the papercut templates in the book then quickly moved onto designing my own pieces. I started to give them away to friends and family and then word got out and I started taking commissions from friends of friends and then complete strangers. I decided to give myself a name and set up some social media pages and i’ve been happily working away for the last 5 years. With PorkChops I try to convey positive messages in a beautiful way and create papercuts, prints, pennant banners and flags to brighten up the home and living spaces. I’m inspired by nature and love using floral patterns and wild woodland scenes in my creations. I’m also a big fan of Brighton which features regularly in my work.
You were with us at the Fairy Tale Fair last November. What have you been up to this year?
My main focus this year has been teaching papercutting and running various papercutting workshops. In April this year I completed 10 workshops over 10 days back to back for the Women’s Institute in West Kent. This was a massive operation which took lots of planning and preparation and probably the biggest thing i’ve done to date. I taught over 150 WI ladies and clocked up around 200 miles travelling to and from the various venues in Kent. I taught 16 people at a time and needed to adopt a more structured approach to ensure that everyone followed the process and went home with all the projects and all their fingers! I was suprised at how well everyone did as we made some complicated kirigami cards and intricate papercut designs.
More recently I got some funding to enable me to run free papercutting workshops for vulnerable groups and ran my first papercut workshop with a local homeless charity JustLife here in Brighton October. I will be running 4 more workshops with other local charities in the new year and hope to develop this work in 2019. Papercutting is such a mindful activity and a great way to get creative and meet other people in a relaxed and safe environment.
On November 24th i’ll be running Christmas themed papercutting workshops at Brighton University in Grand Parade. I’ve designed some papercut pieces especially for these workshops and hope that people will leave with a range of papercut Christmas cards, Christmas decorations, gifts and lots of inspiration. The workshops start at 11:30am and run for 3 hours which will give us plenty of time to get creative. Bring your own lunch and I’ll bring the treats and the Christmas tunes. It’s gonna be fun! Get your tickets using either link below:
What can we expect to find on your stall at the Fairy Tale Fair this Christmas special at the Brighton Open Market on November 10th & 11th?
This year I injected lots of colour into my work and produced 8 new pennant banner designs. 4 of them are Brighton themed and a perfect addition to kids bedrooms. I’ve also improved my notebook designs to make them larger and more functional. They now have loads more pages inside and there are 3 new designs so keep an eye out for those. I’ve also been creating some digital pieces using Procreate on the iPad. It’s been a revelation to me and I’ve been able to design work beyond the constraints of papercutting. I’ve created a bunch of new prints and greetings card designs and i’m excited to showcase them at the Fairy Tale Fair this November. I’ve not forgotten papercutting though and this week I have been exploring traditional Mexican papercuts or papel picado and have produced a couple of prints which will hopefully be ready in time for the Fairs. I love selling at the Fairy Tale Fair at this time of year. The atmosphere is great and It’s always very busy and I love getting to meet my customers face to face and getting into the Christmas spirit.
How can we find out more about you?