Last week my family took a short trip north to an area of Malaysia called Kelantan.
Many artists around one of the main cities of Kelantan, Kota Bharu, are especially known for practicing several traditional Malaysian handicrafts. The painting above and detail of it below, done by a Malaysian artist named Yusoff Abdullah, hung in the airport at Kota Bharu. The painting depicts many of the local handicraft traditions*.
One of my favorites of these traditions is known as Wau, or kite making.
Kite makers use large wooden frames that they bend out of thin sticks:
And the patterns on most traditional kites are intricately cut out of colorful papers and layered over one another.
Here's an artist at work cutting a pattern using an exacto blade on a folded sheet of foil.
I watched him use a blade sharpener. It made me pause because most paper artists I know back home throw out their blades rather than sharpening them. (I personally most often use a scissors, FYI).
Here's a close detail to give you an idea of the layers of paper. Every color below is a different colored paper, glued on top of one another.
* The signature here is from the painting at the top of this post. I mentioned that the artist's name was Yusoff Abdullah, a Malaysian artist who I could find little information on, which is why the uncertainty and the lack of links. Please accept my sincere apologies if I've given credit wrong! Also, please correct me, if someone out there knows better, I'd prefer to properly give credit and links if they exist.