Aside from their distinct paper likeness, Calvin Nicholls’ sculpted animals look incredibly realistic. So much so, that features like feathers and fur seem soft to the touch. Sticking exclusively to sheets of white, plain, A4 paper, Nicholls manages to bring to life majestic animals like owls, lions, and even bears.
To do so requires much time and much patience, each sculpture beginning with a drawn pattern, which he traces and transfers to sculpture paper. He then cuts each one with a scalpel or X-acto knife on a cutting mat, using very small amounts of glue to assemble the figure piece by piece. Most all of Nicholls work is white on white, allowing the viewer to better appreciate the sheer amount of detail.
“The cuts and texture are often tiny and very delicate but due to the numerous glue joints for every piece, the overall strength is substantial,” he stressed on his website, explaining that the finished product isn’t as fragile as it seems. “Tests of the bond between glue and paper reveal that when deliberately forced, the paper tears while the glue seam remains intact.”
“I developed my art to the point where I blended many of my passions-wildlife, the natural world, photography, design, model making, sculpture, light and shadow and have managed to indulge all of them,” he further explained in an interview with the Daily Mail. “When I started out in the early 1980’s I didn’t see this being my job nearly 30 years later.” But here we are.
This is one Instagram account you won’t want to skip.