Elsa Mora | Papercutting + the Art of Patience | Portland, Oregon | July 11 - 15, 2013


Cuban born and raised artist Elsa Mora is a multidisciplinary artist who creates by painting, drawing, sculpting, porcelain, book making and jewelry design. She also creates intricate, whimsical and often profound paper cuttings. In her art she explores themes of self-containment, relationships, family and passion and draws inspiration from personal stories and experiences. Mora developed her art while she was looking after her autisic child. She soon realized the value of being extremely patient and consistent, and these qualities show in her incredibly detailed papercut works.

Read more: Elsa Mora Carves Simple Sheets of Paper Into Elaborate Papercut Illustrations | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building 

Elsa is an ex-art teacher and her wonderful creations have been armed with the patience gained from her life experiences. At this 3 day workshop in Portland, Oregon you will learn the art and relaxation of paper cut creations.

In a hands-on dynamic you will learn the main elements of papercutting as a medium of expression but also as a technique for relaxation and stress management. Elsa will do a demonstration of how to create a papercut from the beginning to the end.

The students will start up by practicing some useful cutting techniques using an X-Acto knife and paper. They will complete a step by step beginner's project using a pattern (specially designed for the workshop). The final element of the workshop consists on a more advanced project where each student will use the skills learned in the first stages of the workshop.

Each student will go back home with a completed professional papercut ready to frame.

From Elsa - "My goal is for each student to experience this fascinating medium in a fun way. My hope is that they will feel inspired to keep exploring this medium so they can create their own unique works of art. My hope is also that the students incorporate papercutting in their regular lives as a way of relaxation."


An X-Acto knife with extra #11 blades, found easily at craft supply stores. And a self-healing cutting mat. A small 9" x 12" mat is enough but if any student has a larger mat feel free to bring it.

Paper will be provided.


Papercutting - 

All papercuts require an obsessive attention to detail, but Elsa Mora’s beautiful pieces are almost three dimensional in their intricacy. Mora manages to create texture and depth in a difficult medium, and the end results are nothing short of stunning. Each detailed creation was carefully hand cut using a sharp knife and a self-healing cutting mat.

Elsa Mora designed the cover and contributed to the book PAPER CUTTING: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Crafts . Click on the link for purchase.

Elsa Mora designed the cover and contributed to the book PAPER CUTTING: Contemporary Artists, Timeless Crafts .

Click on the link for purchase.

This workshop includes:

  • 3 day workshop with Elsa Mora
  • 4 nights accommodation at the Ace Hotel in Portland.
  • 3 breakfasts
  • Meet and Greet welcoming party
  • Paper will be supplied


Three Options for this Ace Camp:

1. Based on double occupancy at The Ace Hotel / 4 nights / 4 breakfasts -  $1395.00 (4 spots only)

2. Based on triple occupancy at The Ace Hotel / 4 nights / 4 breakfasts  - $1195.00  (9 spots only)

3. Workshop only - including Meet + Greet Welcoming Party  -          $649.00 (4 spots only)

This workshop will fill quickly and registration will be on first come basis.

Airfare is not included.

Deposit is due when place in workshop is confirmed and must be paid immediately to secure place in workshop.

Full payment is due for workshop only upon confirmation. 

Option 1 deposit - $700.00 / Option 2 deposit - $500.00 / Option 3 is required to pay in full at time of confirmation. 

If you require a payment plan please let me know. 

Final payment  is due April 30, 2013. 


from an interview with The Fiddleback - 

"I draw the general idea and then cut it out with a sharp knife, little by little—it's pretty straight-forward. The interesting thing is that papercutting is not as hard as it looks. Some things look hard as a whole, like my paper pieces, because they include many details. But as I work on a piece I never focus on the final result. I just do the cuts slowly, one at a time, and enjoy it as if it was the only cut to do. It's a matter of being patient. Then, sooner than I imagine, the piece is finished. This is a philosophy that I bring to all the areas of my life: Don't get overwhelmed by anticipating anything, be right here right now, in the present, that way things will look a lot easier and they will also be more enjoyable."


Elsa Mora graduated from art school there in 1990 and worked as an art teacher for two years. She also worked at an art gallery before becoming an independent artist. In 1995 she relocated to Havana and in 2001 she moved to the USA. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and books, it has also been shown around the world in galleries and museums. Elsa currently lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, who is a film producer, and their three children. Mora’s work is represented by Couturier Gallery in LA and Phyllis Kind Gallery in NYC.

The work of Elsa Mora on Flickr. 

The other talents of the incredibly creative Elsa Mora - 

The Heart of Papercuts - a blog dedicated to the fascinating art of papercuts.

Miniature Artist Books - a blog with beautiful tiny books created by Elsa.

Dolls Have Feelings Too - a blog dedicated to the fascinating art of the handmade doll. 

The Hidden Seed - a blog dedicated to self-expression through style. 

Art is a Way - will be an encouraging and inspiring place for anyone who believes in the power of creativity. Below is a video Elsa created that will be featured on her new blog.

Elsa Mora’s work is represented by Couturier Gallery in LA and Phyllis Kind Gallery in NYC.



July 11, 2013

Travel Day

Arrive at Ace Hotel, get settled and meet in lobby for walk to location where we will gather for Meet + Greet. 

Dinner to follow (not included in workshop fees. 

July 12, 2013

9:00 - Meet in lobby

Demonstration, discussion and practice cutting techniques using an X-Acto knife and paper. This step by step process wll be a great opportunity to give you the basics of paper cutting and Elsa will guide you through the process of how you can cut these pieces all by yourself. You will learn how to cut curves, the proper length of cuts, how to hold the knife, what kind of paper to use and how to set your mood into the perfect relaxed feeling to work perfectly to complete your project with exacting details.

July 13, 2013

Continue to work on skills. Complete a step by step beginner's project using a pattern. Elsa will create a special design for this workshop for you to complete. 

July 14, 2013

More advanced techniques will be taught today.  The class will work on the final element of the workshop which consists of a more technical project and the students will use all the skills learned in the first stages of the workshop to complete a project they have designed.  Everyone will go home with a completed piece ready for framing.

July 15, 2013

Check out and travel day.