The Pinning Process

I was thinking as I was pinning this piece that I’ve never really shared this part of my process with you. The drawing and cutting get all the attention. But the pinning is just as important as it turns the cut pieces into the finished art work.

It doesn’t seem like it would be a complicated thing, but it always takes twice as long I expect and is invariably quite fiddly and a bit tricky. There is a lot of tension on the paper at this point which can cause ripping, which is never a good thing!

You can see the finished piece here.

I love the way the pinning transforms the flat paper into a living breathing sculpture. The act of raising up the birds gives them life and sets them free. I never really know how a piece is going to work out until I pin it.  I always have a vision in my mind but things always change once I start pinning.


The beginning


Tools of the trade.


My pinning finger ready to go – it takes quite a lot of pressure to push the pins through and I found that without a plaster my finger hurts and I get an indentation in it.


My pins of choice – they are very fine, which is good for the more delicate paper.


Let the pinning begin. I start with the piece flat onto the foam board and push the pins through.


I use a lot of pins, to make sure the piece is very stable and secure.


All the pins are now in – onto the next step.


next I start pulling the pins out, the holes in the foam board and the piece are now done.


Once I’ve pulled all the pins out I lift off the whole piece and start to push the pins though and replace any that have come out. This a view from the back.


And here it is from the front.


And the side – there are a lot of pins. It has a really nice heaviness about it at this point.


Now I put it back, using the holes that have already been made in the foam board. This is my favourite bit and also quite tricky, because this is the bit where tears can happen. Slow but sure is the order of the day.


And here it is a close up of the piece finished.

You can see more pictures of the finished piece by clicking here


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