05 Oct

Tea and cake with: papercrafter Lydia Crook

Simply Homemade catches up with brilliant paper engineer Lydia Crook, who makes beautiful paintings and pictures with just the right amount of whimsy. Take a peek.

When we happened across Lydia Crook’s work on Etsy, we knew we just had to have a chat with the lady herself. From living on a farm in Lewes to drinking a LOT of tea, she tells all about what it’s like to be a lifelong arts and crafter.

Country life

“My parents and, in fact, my whole family is very creative so my sister and I spent hours drawing, painting and making things. We were bought up in the countryside so we also spent a lot of time playing outside too.

"I have a lovely little studio in an old converted farm stable in the farmyard. It's a really inspiring place to work and there are always farmy things going on outside to entertain me, when I need a break from my work.”

From school to work

“I remember from a very young age, probably around four when I started school, I always enjoyed arts and crafts and making a mess with paint. I think secondary school art lessons really fired up my interest, it just seemed to grow and grow. I even enjoyed doing it at the weekend when I was a teenager. I did a foundation course straight after school and then went on to doing a fashion degree that allowed me to continue my love for arts and crafts while getting a degree!

“A typical day is very busy for me. I spend most of my time in the studio, although I also do some work for other people in their studios too. A typical day involves drinking lots of tea and producing bespoke pieces of art and trying to be generally creative.”

Inspiration

“Most of my paper engineering is done for the ace paper engineer Corina Fletcher who lives locally and for whom I have been working for the last eight years. She has taught me everything I know about paper engineering. I’ve been involved in creating several pop-up books including Charlie and Lola, Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers and Shoe Love. Its always fun when you see a book you’ve designed and developed in the shops - it's definitely a perk to the job.

A couple of years ago I visited a local exhibition showcasing work by the super talented paper-cutter Rob Ryan and thought to myself, 'that looks like fun'. My work tends to be inspired by childhood nursery rhymes and song lyrics. I love paper and I lose myself while I’m cutting, so it’s gone from strength to strength. I like to think of it as my knitting! I’m finding lovey-dovey song lyrics inspiring at the moment and love making them into paper cutting. Also some very old love quotes.”

Influences

“In the paper-engineering world, my major influence would have to be Corina Fletcher, who has taught me so much about paper engineering. I also love Yulia Brodskaya's work with her beautiful paper sculptures. In the real world, I admire David Attenborough for all he has taught me about wildlife!
 
“As for trends, I like the retro geometric patterns that are popular at the moment and anything Scandinavian style.”

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