Guess what Eric Standley makes

Check out a close-up of this three-dimensional, drawing-in-relief thingie. We’ll give you three guesses as to what the artist used to make it, then scroll down to see if you’re right. If you said it was made of architect’s styrene model sheets, you’re wrong. If you said it was thin pieces of balsa wood made with a butcher’s slicing machine, you’re wrong. And if you said it was made of reinforced polycarbonite alloy, you’re definitely wrong ’cause we just made that up. Nope, it’s paper – many, many layers of laser cut paper. What? You thought we were never gonna feature another artist who does paper cuts? Please. You can’t turn around without tripping over someone else who’s devised a new way to express themselves with paper.
But Eric Standley really stood out to us. Instead of the typical “Wow, I can’t believe someone could do that with paper” response, it was more like “Wow, I can’t tell how he did that… but I’m certain it wasn’t with paper!” Standley got his MFA right here at the Massachusetts College of Art. He’s currently an Assistant Professor
of Studio Art and the Foundations of Art and Design Coordinator for the School of Visual Arts at Virginia Tech. The sculptures are based on his drawings, some of which can take as long as two months. The laser cutting process can take 30 hours and use as many as 120 sheets of paper. They have “rooms” below the surface that can only be seen by getting up close and looking in at just the right angle. The depth from surface to center tends to be about 1 3/4″ and he says that some of the design decisions are just as much about structural support to keep the paper from drooping. The outer dimensions tend to be about 18″ X 24″. Looking at ’em makes us glad that all we have to do is custom framing.

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