Monday, January 30, 2012

Parchment Craft Bridges...

HOW TO PREVENT PARCHMENT BRIDGES
FROM BREAKING WHEN CUTTING - A 
SHORT TUTORIAL

A lot of parchment crafters seem to shy away from cut work, and grid work,  for many reasons and one of them is the fear of ending up with a project full of broken bridges!!  Several weeks ago I promised a dear friend that I would share "my secret" for perforating, and cutting, in parchment work without breaking bridges.  Problem is/was....I became ill and I forgot I had committed to do that and the question came up again very recently...and I was reminded I had done a boo-boo in not keeping my promise to her :((  Sooooooo, here I am and I'm ready (I think!!) to attempt to put my tried and true 'secret' to paper, and photo, without totally confusing all of you :))

First, here is a photo of an unfinished parchment piece that I have had for ages and ages....don't really know why I ever even kept it, but sure glad I did because it's coming in quite handy for this post.....lol


Left click to enlarge the image for better viewing.

The way I have managed to make my bridges VERY thin, and still not have them break when cutting, is really a matter of 'focus' when you do any cutting on parchment.  Slow down and take your time when cutting AND you must learn to 'look around' the area you want to cut next!!  Let's follow the areas I have marked on the photo above.

#1:  Take your time and look very closely at the UNCUT area that is perforated.  Look at the GREEN arrow in the CUT area.  To avoid breaking parchment bridges (bridges are the thin, perforated strips of parchment that are left after the cutting is done) it is very important that you BEGIN cutting a new area (#1 uncut area) on the opposite side of the already cut side of the bridge.  **Stop reading now and take a serious look at the #1 area on the photo again**  The first cut you will make on the uncut side of that bridge will be in the top corner....cut to the bottom and you will now have a bridge that is totally cut away from the parchment paper....now, it is safe to finish cutting the remaining perforations, in that area, away. 

#2:  Let's have a look at area #2.  I have marked it with GREEN, once again, but look at the whole area and you would then make your decision as to where to begin cutting that area.  This whole process is basically simply changing your cutting habits to looking around the whole area close to where you will cut and identify where the bridges are that are already cut on one side.  Now, be very careful with area #2 because there are two separate areas that need to be cut here!!

#3:  Take your time and look around area #3.  Following my 'secret rules', decide where you will begin cutting the parchment paper out of that area....without breaking the bridge.

#4:  Repeat the first three steps throughout your parchment project and it will be a very, very rare occasion that you will ever have a broken bridge again.

Now, you ask.....how and why does this keep the bridges from breaking??  All those little pieces of solid parchment paper that we cut away from the bridges are the foundation to that particular space.  They are the strength in that little space, soooo, if we leave the strength there, and cut the weak parts first (the bridge itself), as we are cutting the bridge, the strong part of the area is holding the bridge from moving or flipping up/down while we cut.  The bridge remains safe and sound and you can now proceed with cutting the remainder of the parchment paper away from all the other sides in that particular space.

If my tutorial is still confusing to you, just grab some scrap parchment and make a practice lattice area (a tick-tack-toe area without the x's and o's!!) and emboss the straight lines of the lattice in any thickness you wish.  Now, begin cutting following the instructions!!!!  No, no, no....don't start screaming.....it'll be just fine.....you'll see :))

**Enlarge the photo above and print it out. Place it close by, for easy reference,  while doing your scrap 'practice' work!!**  Thanks, Judith Maslen, for the suggestion.

Oh....and try not to get frustrated because, after all, the Golden Rule in parchment craft is what??  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!!

Anyone with questions...please ask in the comment box and I'll answer there, as well.  That way everyone will benefit from all the questions and answers :))

Happy Parching,





**NOTE**....THIS POST HAS ALSO BEEN PLACED ON THE "TUTORIALS" PAGE.

12 comments:

  1. Vickie,
    This really does help a lot. I am going to spend some time just playing so I can take that leap and finally start doing cut work. It really does make the projects really stand out.
    Thanks, Crystal

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  2. Crystal....Best wishes on your 'play time'!!! If you get stuck, give a shout out and we'll figure it out :))

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  3. Vickie,
    Thank you for doing this tutorial! I love doing cut work, but I'm always in a hurry. lol
    I need to do the 3 P's, and slow down!! Hmmm someone once told me, its not a race. :))

    Thank you so much for all your help my friend!

    *hugs*
    Ruth

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    1. Ruth....I believe your friend gave you very good advise!!!

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  4. Vickie,
    Thank you so much for doing this tutorial! I love doing cut work, but I'm always in a hurry. I really need to remember to slow down! lol I need to do the 3 P's also! :)

    Why did you not finish this piece of parchment? You really should, it looks beautiful!

    Thanks again for all your help and wisdom my friend!

    *hugs*
    Ruth

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  5. Ruth....thanks so much for your kind comment. Oh gosh, I don't even remember why I didn't finish this particular piece (which isn't like me at all) because it was started ages ago!!! I'm sure I'll finish it one day :))

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  6. Świetny tutorial, dzięki Twoim tutorialom wiele się nauczyłam.

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    1. Thanks very much, madulka, for your kind comment!! I'm always very pleased when I can provide a "smarter" way to make our parchment cutting more effective.

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  7. Thank you for a great tutorial it's something I have tried. But I am not very good at. I will come back and read it again when I have more time
    Margaret

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    1. Margaret...thanks very much for taking a peek!! Come back again soon and print the topic out and you can then follow right along when you have the time to give it a try again. I believe you will find cutting isn't really as fearful as everyone thinks it is :))

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  8. Bonjour Vickie. Toujours un rêve que de voyager dans votre univers...
    Bisous

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  9. Monpoussin....thanks for such a lovely comment.

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