I was on Sunday Brunch on Channel Four!

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It was such a thrill to be on Live tv a few weeks ago on Sunday Brunch with Tim and Simon over on Channel Four! Had a whirlwind of a morning chatting about what I do and why as well as teaching them how to cut paper feathers. Was pretty nervous but hopefully that didn’t show too much! You can watch my 8 minute slot here and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Thanks guys!

Tim and Simon are such great guys, had a blast filming with them!

Tim and Simon are such great guys, had a blast filming with them!

Wallpaper roses for Newbielovers launch event

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Wallpaper Roses

Handmade for Newbielovers launch event

 

Working with Heaps + Stacks we created 40 handmade roses out of a new range of beautiful wallpapers by Newbielovers for their wallpaper launch event.

Heaps + Stacks organised and put on the event which was beautifully designed and styled and Claireloveblooms arranged all the stunning flowers with real mixed in with our wallpaper ones, the end result was stunning!

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All the flowers were beautifully presented with a breakfast served, drinks as well as workshops to make your own animal and flower shapes mobile run by the amazing  Heartzeena  below.

All the flowers were beautifully presented with a breakfast served, drinks as well as workshops to make your own animal and flower shapes mobile run by the amazing Heartzeena below.

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My first wedding install!

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Paper & Wood’s first wedding!

Handmade paper wedding decorations.

So a while back, last spring to be exact, a lovely couple got in touch after walking past our Jo Malone London paper secret garden on Regent street. They loved all the paper flowers and were getting married in February of the next year. After meeting them and discussing what they would like for their special day I went about designing and creating samples of paper Ivy and roses, as Ivy signifies eternity and the rose was their favourite flower.

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The venue they chose had a lovely large cabinet at the back of the ceremony room, so this needed to be filled with flowers, I wanted the Ivy and roses to look as they have been growing wild inside the cabinet for years and taken it over in the amazing way nature does. The lovely couple also wanted me to design table centre pieces, they had storm jars already but wanted me to decorate them somehow, again, I wanted it to feel quite natural and so I designed a spiral of Ivy for each one, as if growing up and around the jar to signify eternity.

Another thing to design and make where the table place names, the top of a mantlepiece and something for people to write lovely messages for the couple on the day. Luckily they loved all of my ideas and designs and so I got right into making them.

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In total we had 1500 ivy leaves to cut out and paint, 70 large roses to make and over 40m of wire to florist tape and attach all the leaves and flowers to…. The studio was soon taken over!

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It was a lot of work but I had a fab team working with me on this and before long we had metres and metres of Ivy and rose bush, I really love when it all seems to grow in the studio.

Once all the bits were made we boxed it all up and loaded it in a huge van to take it off to the wedding venue.

When onsite we got busy unloading it all and straight into installing, there was a lot to do but we were confident in what needed doing and so it went pretty smoothly! Everyone there was so lovely and super helpful, before we knew it we had installed our first wedding!

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I loved designing, making and installing this wedding, it was such a pleasure to work with such a lovely couple and create something for their special day.

Exciting things coming in 2019!

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Exciting meeting

With Holly & Co

Just before Christmas I was invited down to Richmond for a meeting with the three lovely founders of Holly & Co, Holly Tucker, Carrie Gateshill and Gabriella Munro Douglas. I went down to talk about a project that is very special to me, one you might be aware of if you have listened to Holly’s podcast ‘Conversations of Inspiration’ in which I chat about it and how it has shaped what I do now. Link to the episode here: https://holly.co/podcast/zack-mclaughlin-paper-wood/

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I have been chatting with Holly, Gabriella and Carrie for years now but unbelievably I had never been down to visit their Holly & Co headquarters, shop and cafe! All I can say is WOW! What a wonderful space they have created, a true reflection of all their beliefs and love in one place, I just love it! If you get a chance definitely pop down, they have a super shop with beautiful hand made artisan gifts, the cafe is so relaxed and homely with delicious cakes and coffee!! I love the old fashioned feel of the shop too, feels like it has always been there.

They even stock my paper bird kits in their beautiful shop.

They even stock my paper bird kits in their beautiful shop.

They have such a strong message about shopping independent and supporting all the small creative businesses out there and I love them for it!



After enjoying a delicious coffee as I was early, Holly came in and as ever was full of warmth and love, shortly followed by Carrie and Gabriella who all just have the biggest smiles and hugs, you instantly feel a part of the family.

We had a good old catch up and then started discussing the project they want to help me with, my book.

So those of you who have been following me for a while and know my story, you will know what this book is and why it is so important to me, but for those who don’t know what it is, I will explain briefly…

One of my illustrations from Hairy and Scary

One of my illustrations from Hairy and Scary

In my final year of University I decided to write and illustrate my own Children’s book, this Children’s book was called ‘Hairy and Scary’ and it depicts my experiences as a child with an abusive parent, growing up and ultimately freeing myself from the self doubt and emotions that come with it.

After this initial book was made by me, (nowhere near published) I went on to illustrate many other books for a few years as a freelancer and then after 5 years I decided to go back to it and re-illustrate/tweak the story and try to get it published. What transpired changed the course of my life creatively forever.

The boy in the story originally created his own plane to escape the monster holding him captive, but over the years the plane became more and more irrelevant to the story as it is a Robin that inspires him to fly away, so on further reflection I decided it should be a paper bird lantern he creates. In my illustrations I couldn’t get this bird lantern to look right so i went about making a large scale paper bird lantern out of pages from an old book, willow sticks and tissue paper so I could use it as reference to draw from. As I hadn’t made anything like this before it took me around 3 months, but when it was finished I realised this is what I want to be doing, crafting 3D birds out of paper, the spark was ignited.

Now another 5 years since then I am making paper birds daily and selling them all over the world, but ultimately I am always drawn back to the story that started it all and finishing it….

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On hearing this story and it striking a note Holly told me she really wanted to help me get this book finally finished, published and into Children’s and parent’s hands alike, to spread the love and help who it can overcome their demons, as we all have some.

I couldn’t and still can’t believe how she and Holly & Co wanted to help and felt passionate about my book, with help from people like them I know it will happen! Thank you from the bottom of my heart guys!

So look out on my social feeds as well as on here, this year I will be working on this book and hope to release it sometime in the summer….

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Paper and fabric snow for Regent street Winter Retreat 2018

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Regent street Winter Retreat

With Heaps +Stacks & Regent street W1

The build up to Christmas this year was one of the busiest yet, but mainly because I couldn’t say no to so many exciting new projects! None more so than this one. Heaps + Stacks got in touch and asked whether I’d like to work with them to create a window display for a Winter Retreat for shoppers on Regent street, somewhere you could escape from the Christmas chaos and unwind, get your presents wrapped, have a massage as well as take part in workshops. Of course I said yes!

The brief was to create paper and fabric snowfall in all four windows of the stunning new Quadrant arcade on Regent street, it really is a beautiful shopping arcade. I popped down to see the place and measure up…. the windows are huge! I am going to need a lot of fabric, paper and wool….as well as help! So I got right to it with the help of some lovely people, (Lilly, Zoe, Liz, Adam, Nichole and Leah, thank you!)

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The team shredded and cut metres and metres of fabric and paper, varying thicknesses, finishes and sparkle to give a lovely varied feel, much like real snowfall in winter. The fabric had to be slightly transparent like snow too, this picture above demonstrates how effectively it worked. As does this one to the right…

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In around two weeks the team managed to hand sew over 2km of wool through thousands of shreds of paper and fabric. The biggest challenge was not getting them all tangled up! With only a few lengths getting tangled and taking forever to un-tangle!! We got all the lengths to the arcade ready for the install.

The install took us three days, we had to hang a series of white wooden dowels on the ceiling, curving around with the windows yet zig-zagging to allow some depth when we hung the lengths of snow. All four windows are around 3m high and 6m wide….so pretty big!

Once all the dowels were up we went about hanging the lengths, this was relatively easy but we got into a few tangles….not fun to rectify!

An electrician worked closely with us to have lengths of fairy lights running through the snow and I think you can agree, the end result is quite beautiful….

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It was strange because during the entire install there was hoarding up in front of the arcade which meant we could never see it in full from the street… not until we came back in the week after install.

First time we saw the entire front of the arcade with the hoarding down.

First time we saw the entire front of the arcade with the hoarding down.

This was such a fab project, the sort of thing I’d love to work on more in the future. Thank you so much to Heaps + Stacks as well as Regent street W1 for entrusting me with the designs, the whole concept was great and what you created over all was truly beautiful.

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Handbag customisation for Tory Burch

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Painting on Leather

Hummingbirds, Dragonflies and dogs

Tory Burch asked me to spend three weekends in November last year painting on their beautiful leather handbags and customise them for customers walking in and buying on the day. I was slightly nervous about painting onto peoples expensive and beautiful bags but once I got into the swing of it I loved every minute!

Beautiful Tory Burch store front in Milan

Beautiful Tory Burch store front in Milan

I was asked to sit in three of Tory Burch’s beautiful stores in London, Milan and Paris, (so even got to travel a little which was fun!) each store was stunning and beautiful but each had it’s own distinct style. I sat in store amongst all the luxury handbags, clothes and shoes, (feeling slightly out of my comfort zone…) but It didn’t take long to realise that everyone working for Tory Burch are just so lovely and friendly they made me feel like one of the team and I felt like I’d been there always.

Customers were lovely too, always happy to chat and see what it was doing, as well as being so lovely and complimentary about my painting.

They had a selection of 10 designs to choose from, 2 species of hummingbird, a beetle, a dragonfly, a peacock and 5 different species of dog.

Stunning paper art display in the window of Tory Burch Paris

Stunning paper art display in the window of Tory Burch Paris

Designs would take me around 20-30 minutes each to paint.

Designs would take me around 20-30 minutes each to paint.

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Painting directly onto the leather was a joy! It took the paint so well and the colours really popped, details never got lost either, It was genuinely a pleasure. The favourite was definitely the Anna’s Hummingbird, (my favourite too!) but there were lots of Dragonflies requested as well, which would you choose?

A selection of custom designs too…

A selection of custom designs too…

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As a new experience of live painting in front of the customer onto luxury Handbags I can honestly say I loved it! Hopefully I get more projects like this in the future.

Thank you to everyone at Tory Burch! x

Conversations of Inspiration podcast - Listen to me talk about my creative journey

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Last summer I was invited into Holly Tucker’s simply stunning home to be a guest on her latest amazing venture into the world of podcasts, it was such an honour and pleasure to finally meet her and chat about creativity and life over a lovely cup of tea.

Holly’s new podcast is called ‘Conversations of Inspiration’ and it is such an amazing listen, if you haven’t already, go and check it out right now! It has so many incredibly inspirational people on it, all with completely different backgrounds and stories but all truly inspiring in their own way.

I was extremely nervous and couldn’t quite believe I was asked, so the whole thing was a bit of a blur, but I managed to chat for a good hour or so about my journey in creativity, how it was my escapism from reality, why I took certain paths and ultimately how I ended up here, making paper birds for a living, (something I could never have envisaged as a younger self).

Holly and her partners in Holly & Co Carrie and Gabriella, are just the loveliest people you could ever wish to meet. So warm, friendly and genuine, they have so much love and support to give to small creatives like myself, truly amazing people. Thank you guys x

Hope you enjoy listening, it was weird listening back, the hardest part was the letter to my younger self, something it took a while to write but came straight from my heart. I shan’t say much more, but have a listen and let me know what you think. Thank you.

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Link to the podcast is here: https://holly.co/podcast/zack-mclaughlin-paper-wood/

Also available on Spotify and Itunes.

Finally made all 10 Paper & Wood hummingbird sculptures!

I have just completed cutting and gluing all of the paper feathers for my latest large piece, 'The Hummingbird tree'. All 10 species below have been hand carved out of wood before each and every feather has been cut out and feathered with my trusty pair of scissors, (you can see them in one of the pics below).

This little guy will be a Violet crowned woodnymph once painted.

This little guy will be a Violet crowned woodnymph once painted.

Some iridescent blue paint will make this one into a violet crowned hummingbird.

Some iridescent blue paint will make this one into a violet crowned hummingbird.

Tiny Ruby Topaz hummingbird sculpture.

Tiny Ruby Topaz hummingbird sculpture.

The beautiful Violet ear hummingbird.   

The beautiful Violet ear hummingbird.

 

The stunning Anna's hummingbird here, can't wait to add all the iridescent paints to this one.

The stunning Anna's hummingbird here, can't wait to add all the iridescent paints to this one.

Beautiful bright paints will make this guy a velvet purple coronet.

Beautiful bright paints will make this guy a velvet purple coronet.

Lovely bright orange paper for this little Rufous Hummingbird sculpture.

Lovely bright orange paper for this little Rufous Hummingbird sculpture.

Violet Sabre wing, one of the largest species of Hummingbird.

Violet Sabre wing, one of the largest species of Hummingbird.

One of the smallest species of hummingbird is this one, The Snow capped.

One of the smallest species of hummingbird is this one, The Snow capped.

Las but not least, The White necked Jacobin.

Las but not least, The White necked Jacobin.

The next step for all of these little hummingbird sculptures is to paint them in lovely bright acrylic paints and attempt to make them look life-like. I do use some lovely iridescent acrylic paints for a lovely shimmer to the feathers just like real hummingbirds have. To achieve this I use Pebeo Studio acrylics, High viscosity paints, they come in some awesome colours and really do add a another level to the paper feathers.

Keep an eye out for them being painted on my instagram, I will be doing some videos of work in progress as well as some mini tutorials on my processes too. See you there guys!

WE WON!! RIBA Regent street windows competition 2018

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Our RIBA Regent street windows competition entry won the people's choice award!!! Still can't believe it! Thank you so much to everyone who voted! Working on this with the super talented Thomas-McBrien architects we collaborated with Jo Malone London to turn their Regent street store into a handmade paper secret garden.

The design we created for Jo Malone London's main window display on Regent street, London.

The design we created for Jo Malone London's main window display on Regent street, London.

Created from 100,000 paper elements we turned the store into a secret escape from the city, the outside view enticing you to come in and lose yourself in the flowers and scents of Jo Malone London. Handmade paper Roses, Jasmine, Wisteria along with a hand made tree full of Paper blossom flowers and fruits filled the store, but that's not all, there were paper butterflies, dragonflies and ladybirds and of course some paper birds!

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The whole design and make of this epic install took us just 8 weeks, we had an amazing team of people working on this and the guys we worked with from Jo Malone London were a dream to work with too. Thank you to everyone involved, really couldn't have done this without you X.

The Barbour campaign is live!

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Head over to Barbour's blog page to find photos of a campaign we worked together on for their new range of lightweight wax jackets. There is also an interview where I go into details of why I do what I do. Link here: https://www.barbour.com/blog/lightweight-4oz-wax-zack-mclaughlin

Working on an exciting campaign with Babour jackets!

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Roughs for a new campaign for Barbour's lightweight SS18 range of jackets.

I'm extremely excited to share with you guys that I have been working on a new campaign with Barbour jackets for their latest range of lightweight wax jackets! A nice open brief in which they wanted me to create a sculpture that symbolises lightweight whilst using their new lightweight wax material within it. I was given a week to produce the piece in which time a time lapse camera was set up in my studio to capture the design and build process.

So I obviously went for birds in my design! But I was drawn to starlings as the colouring of them was really suited to the wax material colours. Also, the week before I had been down to Teignmouth in Devon and whilst sitting having a coffee on the front a beautiful murmuration of starlings started up and I was mesmerised! This sparked the design above, a murmuration of starlings that from one direction resembled the shape of a Barbour jacket. This proved far too ambitious to produce in a week, but I did produce something along the same lines..... More soon!

For more info and details on the jackets head here: https://www.barbour.com/blog/lightweight-4oz-wax-campaign

Paper bird making workshop

Had such a fun day making paper birds this Saturday! Just have a look through this gallery to see how well everyone did! Each started with just paper, scissors and my bird making kit and all made their own little Hummingbird or Barn owl. Each one turned out so differently with their own colour patterns and quirks.

I love teaching these workshops as they give me the chance to meet some really lovely people and pass on my paper crafting skills to them, so rewarding to see them leave with their own little creations and new found skills.

If you would like to have a go and come along to one of these workshops please have a look here to find out more details and dates: https://www.paperandwood.co.uk/workshops/

Weekend workshop at Heals.

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Copper wire Wren sculpture.

Had a lovely workshop for 27 people on Saturday at the beautiful Heal's furniture store on Tottenham court road. Everyone who attended either made a Hare, Robin, Sparrow or Wren, (as pictured) from 0.9 and 0.5mm craft wires.

The process takes around 2-3 hours to make one sculpture and can get quite fiddly, but nobody leaves until they have finished their little creations and they stand proudly all on their own.

I love running these workshops as I get to meet such a lovely people and get to see them create something they are truly proud of.

 

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To book a place or just to see what workshops I have coming up, head over to the workshops page listed on the drop down menu. Or just click here: www.paperandwood.co.uk/workshops/

Look forward to seeing you there!