Hmmm. Maybe they could check with their school district to see if they already have some dies that would work?
Ooh. You are on a creative roll! That’s smart.
I don’t know what her vision is, but I will mention this as a possibility as well!
Tell her it adds visual interest
If you can keep away from interior cuts, it should be pretty easy and quick and solve the paper flying around problem.
Do you have any idea how much a die costs? The snowflakes are really big, so she’d probably need a die of half a snowflake and then be able to carefully cut it on folded paper. I don’t think they’d make dies that are 17" would they?
Who knew that snowflakes were such an ordeal?
I ordered a small die years ago and it was $55. So it would be expensive… but they could donate it to the school after, so it could be a write-off, I’d think.
The GrandeMARK 2 machine fits up to giant-size dies with shapes up to 14” x 17”. I have an older GrandeMark which will take up 16." It sounds like you want to cut paper that’s already folded, so the die would be smaller than 17", right?
They have an 8 1/16" snowflake which is $70. Looks like that’s the largest one.
If you size the snowflake cut to 7” (equaling 14” after unfolding) and then the circle surrounding it 1.5” larger, you knock out the 17” and 14”. You could also do the same with the 10” and 14”. And you’d end up with several styles then.
Finding cardstock big enough is going to be an issue too! Michaels sells 12" 65 lb cardstock. (Don’t know where she can get 18" square or larger.)
Here’s a company that makes steel rule dies: https://www.appledie.com/products-steel-rule-dies/
I would recommend testing out the folded cut before agreeing to this. One issue with cutting stacked materials is it is easier for it to catch fire (pesky air gaps between layers). I don’t know what the design looks like, but you might be able to use a jig to cut half of the design, rotate it 180, then cut the other half.
I think @jbmanning5 idea is a good one. You will effectively double your productivity. But, that depends on what the design is.
If you are worried about little pieces, you could elevate you stock, so the small pieces fall down as it is cutting and not into the design.
If you’re cutting a snowflake out of a 17" paper then its not a 17" snowflake, unless she happens to have 17x17" paper, right? 11x17 inch paper would be more readily available, but 12" square paper, also readily available, would make a slightly bigger snowflake than that.
Maybe just… Direct her to the internet? If 30 seconds of googling gets almost the right sizes, I bet much googling can get her even closer. She wants paper snowflakes and its nearly Christmas, someone somewhere is already making what she wants.
I think the problem with that is that it sounds like this artist was commissioned by the city. It would feel kind of shady to have commercial/generic designs subbed in place of something designed by the artist.
Or maybe that’s just me not my tax dollars
Use the laser to make your own steel rule dies from plywood and steel strips (I didn’t say it would be easy). I know it’s been done but I don’t have a link, sorry.
You guys are amazing! Thanks so much. I spoke with her. She makes beautiful papercuts, so she definitely had a vision for the snowflakes that wasn’t going to be handled by an army of school kids or a generic design online.
She was under the impression that we could stack 25 sheets of paper together and cut it that way. The moment I told her it was a fire hazard (as well as very likely to produce charring), she pretty much knew that this wasn’t going to work out. But I did share some of your other suggestions as well as the idea of contacting someone with an industrial size/speed laser or other cutter who might be able to get the job done quickly.
I’m not sure if she’ll be able to see her vision through, but I hope so. I’m sure it will be lovely. Each of the snowflakes represents an artist in the city and the original plan was to have them all decorated by those artists. I don’t think that’s going to happen, either, unfortunately.
One note specifically for @jbmanning5… I was completely sold on your double snowflake idea with the fly-away-free design. She said that the connections between the arms of the snowflakes provide structural integrity and if you use a design with separate arms, you end up needing to secure things more heavily or the pieces of flop. Despite years of paper arts, it was something I hadn’t considered, so I thought you’d find it interesting, too. I still think, if she didn’t have a very specific design in mind, that your idea was an excellent one.
One other thought… I don’t know how cohesive it would look in the end. But cut the design into quadrants and distribute those out to artists, so you’d have a single snowflake designed by 4 artists, that they could do both sides of. You could make a center piece that the quadrants attach to and engrave the artists names onto the center piece.
Doing that, you’d get by the size constraints and make better use of your material.
I was thinking cut her design from wood to avoid the floppy constraints. But you could do acrylic also and then the artist would only have to paint one side (just have to make sure they do the right side!) and it would show through to the reverse side.
Another organization that has bought some of my work in the past (awesome program, by the way! https://twhsat.weebly.com/ ), does a fundraiser every year to go towards buying/installing artwork to build an art collection for their high school. They have palettes cut out of woods and then ask artists to create art on them. Those are then bid on through a silent auction.
It might be cool to do something similar with the snowflake artworks, and the money could be donated to a city program for art programs or something like that.
I’m a little late to the discussion but there is an awesome Cricut cartridge for snowflakes if they’re looking for a variety. It’s called Winter Lace and I used it to cut out tons of them to hang from my library ceiling. Some you can slot together so they are 3D-ish.
Oh my gosh, I totally missed “project for the city.” My reading comprehension skills leave a lot to be desired today.
You’re ok. Unless you run for office. Then, surely that one post will come back to haunt you. And also, you’ll never be in charge of the Christmas decorations.
She said that she found a company with an industrial laser, but it was going to be $1 a snowflake to cut and $0.50 a sheet for the paper and it pushed her past her budget. But maybe next year. I could spend my year cutting snowflakes and easily get it done by the next holiday season…
Depending on the artist’s vision, you could create a mold using your glowforge from MDF or acrylic, and cast the snowflakes in a paper slurry. The acrylic might be sharp enough to act as a die to cut or trim them.