27.7.18

Paper Cut & Shadow Light Box

Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

Capturing light in a paper shadow-box has a surreal effect with layers of cut paper enhancing texture, depth and drama with the latest sculptured art piece titled, 'The Perfect Day'. 




Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

Taking a sabbatical from painting, I get into an exploration of sculpture possibilities using paper & battery LED fairy string lights. Digging through my drawing paper stash, I find the perfect off-white, 110 lb. drawing paper that is stiff enough to cut with an Exacto blade keeping edges vertically in the lightbox. 

Supplies needed to create this shadow lightbox:


  • Scotch Quick-Drying glue with precision tip
  • E6000 Glue
  • Shoe Goo
  • LED Fairy String Lights
  • Double sided tape
  • Foam-core
  • 110 lb acid-free drawing paper
  • Exacto blade
  • Gesso
  • Golden Acrylic Paint (ultramarine)
  • Plastic clear & opaque book covers
  • Watercolour paint
  • 5 wine corks
  • Decorative papers
  • Matboard
  • sketchbook
  • tracing graphite paper



Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz
Size: 12" height x 8" wide x 6" deep Weight: 9 ounces

Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

The LED fairy light switch is attached on the back of the lightbox where it has an on/off switch. Two small type batteries can be replaced by flipping open the white plastic cover. The bonus using the battery LED's gives the freedom to display the lightbox sculptures anywhere in a room. 


Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

The design of the shadow box is meant to complement the story within while inviting the curiosity of viewers with the surreal effect of layered cut paper inside. The box is framed flamboyantly with glittery BEAUTIFUL handmade textured papers. I used the papers' designs of the dramatic ZigZag pattern for the frame and the tiled silver paper for detailed corners.

I do my own custom framing so have lots of saved pieces of sturdy foam-core to which I can build anything 3 dimensionally without using POWER TOOLS! I use foam-core and glue to make the lightbox and separation pieces for 11 layers of cut paper which creates the illusion of depth and shadow values.


Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz


After building the shadow box from foam-core and glue, I coat two layers of gesso to seal the foam-core and give a better surface to paint the Golden Acrylic Ultramarine blue. I paint two coats to give a rich blue colour and then a final varnish coat. The deep blue nicely shows the positive paper cut-outs from 2 layers featured inside the box.


Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

I love colour and decided to paint a plastic book cover with watercolour. This brings colour when the lights are on or off and like that feature rather than relying on colour lights that can only be seen when lights are turned on. To protect all that is inside the shadow box, I glue one clear plastic book cover onto the last paper cut scene.



Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz

I save corks to use in creative projects and found them to be useful as stilts to raise the box off a table. Gesso and blue paint were used to cover the corks.
To attach the cork stilt legs to the shadow box, I use Shoe Goo, a favourite thick glue that works well for all kinds of surfaces. I let it dry for 24 hours.


Shadow lightbox, 'The Perfect Day', by Minaz Jantz



To get started with the paper story, I go to previous artworks to find inspiration for the 'The Perfect Day' shadow-box. Years ago I created from scratchboard paper, a fun piece titled, 'Moonlight Dance'. Read more about the scratch paper here.

I drew out the design in my sketchbook thinking about how many layers to create for depth and shadows. I trace out the design for 11 layers on to 110 lb paper and then cut with an Exacto blade.


Moonlight Dance on Scratchboard by Minaz Jantz
Moonlight Dance on Scratchboard
by Minaz Jantz


Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz Paper Shadow Box
Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz
Paper Shadow Box
71/2" height x 8" wide x 6" deep  WEIGHT 6.3 ounces

My first lightbox 'Primal Roots' was a pleasure to create but didn't have much of a clue so I just started drawing and cutting into 8 pieces of 110lb drawing paper and layering each cut piece till I got something I liked. 


'Flower Power', POP-UP cut paper design by Minaz Jantz
'Flower Power', POP-UP cut paper design by Minaz Jantz

I had recently been having fun creating a POP-UP paper design. I had made a blue butterfly from glossy photo paper and art markers for one of the cards but it didn't make it onto a card. Instead, I used it on the first shadow lightbox. I had also saved Japanese paper from a wrap on a biscuit box to cover the outside of the shadow box perfectly. The wine corks are from a wine called Primal Roots and decided it was also a great title for this paper shadowbox! 


Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz Paper Shadow Box
Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz
Paper Shadow Box
Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz Paper Shadow Box
Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz
Paper Shadow Box

Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz Paper Shadow Box
Primal Roots by Minaz Jantz
Paper Shadow Box
Looking forward to designing more shadow lightboxes. You will find me in a closet peering into the surreal worlds created by Fairy lights & paper! Minaz

2 comments :

Margaret E Ecker said...



SO FABULOUS MINAZ YOU ARE SO TALENTED.

Artist Minaz Jantz said...

Thanks for taking the time to view my creative world!

Back to Top