An Illuminated Christmas Window
I am very lucky to have a beautiful, large open plan loft space in which to have my studio. It has big windows at the front, looking out on the treetops outside. I’ve got my painting easel and my desk under the windows, and a cosy computer work station nestled next to it in the eaves of the roof. It’s a very inspiring and lovely place to be!
I watch the clouds scuttle past all day long from these high windows, and sometimes climb onto the desk to wave at passers by on the street below. It’s always fun when they look up and wave back. Last Christmas I decided to give them something else to look at – a huge papercut design that filled the windows and was illuminated at night. It all started because I’d been looking at the work of Rob Ryan, and was inspired to try making my own papercuts, by hand. I’d never done anything like it, and I am not one to start small and achieveable when large and ridiculous is available, so making an enormous paper cut by hand, almost 3m wide seemed perfectly sensible.
There were teething problems last year – I used quite thin paper which ripped too easily. I cut all the words the wrong way round and had to re do them! And then when completed, I realised the sections were so large that they kept falling down under their own weight. Nevertheless, it was beautiful! The neighbours loved it, and lots of local people came out of their way to see it. Many have been asking me since October for another one! So I resolved to make it better (and more stable!) this year.
The details on this year’s then: It took 3 days to painstakingly cut the design from (thicker, stronger) black paper with some very sharp knives. I’m happy to report I managed to keep all my fingers intact. Then a day of sticking reams and reams of tissue paper on the back. Then a further day’s work to fine tune and assemble it onto the windows. It’s taped on to the window frames with parcel tape, and so far, it hasn’t fallen down yet! When the dusk falls, each day, I turn on the lamps behind it, and the studio lights, and from the street, all lit up, it really does look like a stained glass window.
I hope everyone likes it! The locals do seem to. It’s so much fun peeking out of the kitchen window at people gazing up at the illuminated window above. My motivation in making it is simply to express so much joy, creativity and enthusiasm to the world. The creative challenge of making it was interesting, for sure, but it feels nice to make something beautiful for its own sake. Not to sell, nor to licence. Just because. Just for fun. I know I personally also want to explore what the meaning of Christmas is for me – something more than the presents and the food (although I get ridiculously excited about those too). But the illuminated window is my Christmas gift to the world, that’s the main thing! I’m very pleased with it, and that feels good.
If you’d like to see more of Trudi’s work, you can right here.