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Published on Dec 4, 2018
A unique design project by James Cropper and paper artist Kyla McCallum of Foldability.
Led by sixth generation chairman Mark Cropper, the brief was challenging. The artwork had to communicate the intrinsic beauty of James Cropper's bespoke papers, be delivered at a huge scale - the full length of an articulated truck - and to an unprecedented quality.
"I came across Kyla's work on Instagram and it immediately struck a cord", explains Mark. "Her work transforms a flat sheet into something dynamic and multi-dimensional that redefines the material. It is simple, but beautiful and completely authentic. The fit was perfect".
Following a trip to Kyla's East End studio to find out more, Mark commissioned her to create four paper sculptures, each to be made from Kendal Green paper, James Cropper's signature colour.
Kyla takes up the story. "The four paper sculptures include a total of over 10,000 lines, each one folded individually by hand. I wanted to create pieces with interesting geometric patterns that could work at the largest scale and reflect the precision and craftsmanship that James Cropper is known for".
At the heart of the project is the company's Kendal Green paper, a bespoke colour based on a woollen cloth the area was famous for in the middle ages. The original pigments used to dye the cloth were identified and the colour brought back to life in James Cropper's colour lab.
"I was very keen our brand colour had an authentic provenance", notes Mark Cropper. "We've been experts in colour for over 170 years and this experience is a key reason brands from all around the world choose to work with us. So it was important our own colour was as unique and true to our roots as those we make for so many others."